Balanced overview of the topic and summary of enterprise products in the space:
Pundits for new, enterprise-oriented social bookmarking and tagging systems claim they can provide what knowledge management systems haven't: easy and secure storage, retrieval, and sharing of valuable documentation within an organization and around the Internet.
By enabling users to "tag" documents and then track them across user bases, enterprise bookmarking systems can promote or demote a document based on its popularity. Think Delicious (http://del.icio.us) inside your firewall.
In fact, the process isn't all that different from a traditional bookmarking service. As users visit pages, they fill out a form for their bookmark by entering the URL, a brief description (the tag), status of the page (private or not) and other information. The data from the form is stored in a central database. Users can then retrieve their bookmarks or those of others, assuming privacy and security restrictions allow it.
But for organizations, and particularly hierarchical ones, the wisdom of the crowds—or "folksonomies"—suggests a knowledge management system gone mad. For years, IT departments have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars carefully cultivating infrastructure and taxonomies to classify documents across the enterprise. While these taxonomies might have been static at times, at least they provided consistency.
Given enough active users, folksonomies can be self-correcting. But organizational hierarchies and complex, first-generation Enterprise 2.0 software make it hard to attain sufficient involvement within the enterprise. The immaturity of many Enterprise 2.0 products doesn't help, either. Basic security and privacy requirements may not be met, and user interaction needs to be better conceived. Costs can also mount quickly.
Nevertheless, IT cannot ignore the emerging area of enterprise social bookmarking. Unlike the much-touted but failed groupware of the 1990s, enterprise bookmarking systems leverage two well-tested usability factors: Users want to recall valuable documents, and tagging is a growing means of doing so. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 28 percent of Internet users tag documents, including 7 percent daily. These figures will only climb as Generation Y moves into the workplace.