I have been playing around with Diigo for the past couple weeks. Diigo is a social bookmarking and annotation community. It is the annotation bit that really separates Diigo from Ma.gnolia and other bookmarking services.
The first thing I noticed when reading about Diigo is that the community there is different from the community at Ma.gnolia (my typical bookmarking service of choice). Diigo has a huge following among those working in education, and seeing some of the things they do with the service is quite impressive. A very structured, and organized approach to bookmarking.
Here are five reasons I think you should take a look at this service, if you have not already.
- Effective Searching - I have entered about 300 bookmarks into Diigo now, and have started to run a number of searches to see how fast information is returned. Diigo offers not only tag and description searches, but also full page text searches. Very handy. The searches are fast and effective, and searches also give you a set of relevant tags to help further refine results with a simple click.
- Whole Page Comments - I like to be able to leave my thoughts about a page. I really think of my description and my comment on the page as two different things. Diigo allows you to quickly leave a public or private comment about a page. Very handy both as a reminder of why you bookmarked a page, and to others of why you think it is good.
- Bookmark Your Spot - A bookmark, in the paper world, is used to help us find our way back to the actual page or paragraph we were reading, not just the book. Diigo has a Sticky Note feature which can be placed anywhere on any page you bookmark. It allows you to leave a page, make a note, and come back not only to the page, but also to the right place on the page. I will also mention that when you bookmark a page you can set it as Unread. You can later filter on your unread bookmarks, and get right back to what you still have to read. I didn’t understand the power of this feature until I found the option to show only unread bookmarks. Very nice!
- Highlight for Reference - Highlighting, and commenting on those annotations, is the main feature that differentiates Diigo from other services. Basically, you bookmark a page, select the text you want to highlight and add a comment if you want to. Share your comments with a group, the public, or yourself. I find myself highlighting addresses, phone numbers, in addition to passages and other snippets of the text on the page. This is an area where the Diigo team is looking to constantly improve what they can offer, so I would look to see this feature get better and better.
- Lists, Lists, Lists - This feature is very cool. Many services offer the ability to create groups, but most don’t offer you the ability to create a simple list. Maybe there is not a big difference between a private group and a simple list, but they have done a nice job with integrating your lists into the side bar in your browser. Makes working your way through a set of daily reading sites very quick and easy. You can also add sections to your lists, similar to what you can do with Google Notebook, which makes public shared lists quite visually appealing.
Overall, you end up with a very nice experience both bookmarking and annotating websites. You will get the best feature set if you download the Diigo toolbar (sidebar) for your borwser, but you can also make use of a fancy bookmarklet. All of the typical web 2.0 goodies like RSS feeds are present in the service as well.
If you are on Diigo and would like to look me up or add me as a friend, take a look at my profile page. If you decide to sign up for Diigo due to this posting, give me a shout either in the comments here or on Diigo.