LinkSpank. It sounds kinda naughty, and it could be if you try hard enough to make it so–but really it’s just a site about sharing content that you find interesting. If you find something on LinkSpank that you enjoy, spank it. Yes, that’s both “enjoy” and “spank” used together in the same sentence, in regards to social bookmarking.
Now, spanking isn’t merely voting for a submission, but sharing, too. So you can’t really spank anything without sending it to your friends, via email. There are some other actions available with the spanking option, such as posting it to your wall, attaching another spank, and adding an embedded item (like a video). These other options encourage users to form deeper discussions around the submissions found throughout LinkSpank, but the process could stand to be a little more straight forward.
The bulk of the activity on LinkSpank, however, is circling your inbox. Think of your LinkSpank profile as in Inbox of sorts, where you get to send and receive individual recommendations between friends. In the end, you get double your pleasure, because all the items sent to you via spank will also show up in your real inbox–you know, the one that you used when you signed up for LinkSpank in the first place. This can probably get to be too much for most users; it’s kind of like having all your Twitter alerts come to your mobile, and your inbox is full within 25 minutes. To curb any issues you may have with this, LinkSpank, just like Twitter, gives you settings for your actual email alerts.
The biggest downfall with LinkSpank, however, is its hub approach to sharing content. It’s similar to a UPS shipping method, where all the packages are sent to a central hub, and dispersed from there. So you’re collecting items from across the web, saving them in LinkSpank, and emailing them out to friends accordingly. This is somewhat odd, because most web content can be mailed to friends directly, or shared on Facebook, etc.
But I see what LinkSpank is doing, here. The hub acts as a catchall for all the content you’d ever want to share, keeping it organized and accessible to users at any point in the future. I know how frustrating it is to sift through my Gmail looking for that link that Adam sent me last week, but if I could just do a simple search on LinkSpank (if Adam had shared the link with me through LinkSpank), the search process could be cut short. That is, in fact, why LinkSpank operates along the same lines as your inbox.
I’ll continue to try it out to see if its search and organization purposes warrant LinkSpank as a replacement to my social bookmarking tools, like Digg, and my Gmail, but be sure to let me know what you think as well.