Multilingual social bookmarking
As we mentioned before on this blog, we’re working hard to increase the functionality of our website and make it more useful for our visitors. One of the new features you can now find on our site is a tool that allows you to save your favorite pages with a social bookmarking engine and share it with others. (For those that are not yet familiar with social bookmarking: Social bookmarking portals like del.icio.us or digg.com allow you to store websites (URLs), stories or other interesting content you have found on the web in an online environment where you can manage your favorites and share them with other people).
One of the first questions we had to answer before implementing this tool was which social bookmarking tools our users might be using. So we drew up a table of the Alexa traffic ranks of 38 social bookmarking sites we have heard of to see which ones are used most commonly. Given that Just Landed is currently available in 8 languages, we were especially interested in multilingual social bookmarking sites or at least bookmarking sites in languages other than English.
The concept of social bookmarking started in the US and been widespread there since then, so we were not really surprised that the main social bookmarking portals are English language sites. There is obviously a little bias in our analysis as the Alexa toolbar (which measures the traffic rank) is mainly used in English-speaking countries, but nevertheless we came up with some interesting finds:
- The gap between the usage of English-speaking Social bookmarking sites and the sites in other languages is immense. In the top 10 social bookmarking sites according to Alexa, there is not a single non-English site. This indicates the social bookmarking is still mainly an English-speaking phenomen.
- However, on some English-speaking social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us, we also found quite a high number of non-English links and descriptions (i.e. to German or French sites). This means that the English bookmarking sites are also intensively used by non-English and/or multilingual users.
- Among the non-English sites, there is an absolute dominance of German social bookmarking sites, with the absolute leader being Mister Wong (which also includes a lot of non-German links by now). Of the 10 non-English bookmarking sites that made it into our list 7 were German (see red cells in the table attached), and 5 of these site have an Alexa traffic rank higher than 100.000 (in fact, the only non-English sites which reach these Alexa ranks are German ones). This ones again confirms that the Germans might not be very innovative in creating new web models, but have become extremely fast and efficient when it comes to adopting successful models from the US (some people even call them the “German copycats” for that reason).
So where does this leave us? First of all, we might have missed some important non-English or multilingual social bookmarking sites in our analysis, so if you have any suggestions, these are more than welcome!
Second of all, given that quite a few people use English sites for managing non-English links and non-English site for managing English links, there might not be a clear “national dominance” in the social bookmarking markets, but rather a multinational phenomen. However, this leaves us with the questions why sites like del.icio.us don’t offer at least a multingual interface for international people (although we know from our experience that creating a multilingual site is everything is easy).
And which bookmarking tools have we chosen for Just Landed? Just check out our site and see for yourself … ;o)