Diigo 4 Lyfe

By JEgererJEgerer (1261516587|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Well I could cap off our social site class with a comparison of all the tools we explored.. but one of them was just too cool not to take center stage. Diigo, to me, is the most useful tool we've explored this semester and so deserves its own blog spotlight.


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Diigo is a social bookmarking site akin to Delicious or Digg, but it offers so much more personal functionality in addition to the community aspect.

Community

Here is a shot of a tag search for 'skydiving' at Diigo.

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Its very similar to what you find on other social bookmarking sites. Its got the results with related tags, and count of of how many have bookmarked this, options to save it to your libary or bury it from ever hitting your results again, and who it was bookmarked by.

If you click the link you can browse the site in a viewing pane and the bookmarks of those who have saved this page below. None of this is particularly special, but it is as useful and functional as Digg or Delicious and don't worry the good stuff is coming.

Sidebar

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First is the Diigo sidebar. With one click from the Diigo menu bar (see below address bar in browser shots) you open up this sidebar on the left with your entire library. Its searchable by tags, lists, or just by keyword. So no matter how many bookmarks you hoard away you can access and search them real easily without even leaving the page you are on.

Its also got the 'this URL' tab that shows all comments/highlights/stickies for this site and who has it bookmarked. More on this in a bit.

This sidebar though is kind of what other sites are lacking. I don't want to leave what I'm doing to look at my bookmarks, and I don't want to get lost in them — I want the to be able to pull them up real quick and find what I'm looking for that's the point right!

Snapshot

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Now sometimes I'll bookmark a page only to go back to it and see it has moved, changed, or requires some logging in that I'm just not able to recall my name/pass for. Diigo has you covered here too. The snapshot tool pulls a screenshot of the browser window and stores it in your Diigo library. As you can see it doesn't load code well in the meta window, but it does preserve text impeccably and you never have to worry about losing the meat of what you bookmarked.

Scratch that, I just rechecked and the page is loading fine in the Diigo window, looks great and is easily shareable — you can see others snapshots in their library.

This is useful for sites that update constantly or maybe to preserve a social profile or a twitter feed — anything that is dynamic and won't be captured by a normal bookmark.

Bookmark Options

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Here is shot of the options you are presented with when you click the 'bookmark' icon on the Diigo menu bar.

The notables

Public vs. Private — Do I really need my girlfriend being able to browse my bookmark library around Christmas time? A nice little option for whatever you don't want shared with the community.

Save and Send — You can instantly send a link to twitter, it converts it to a bit.ly url and everything for you and put in your tweet right there — completely integrated, completely cool…. oh did I mention it has a separate send bar on the menu bar for allowing you to quicky e-mail, facebook, or blog your bookmarks.. too cool.

Share to Group — Help others, help you… find a cool skydiving site, save it to the skydiving group as well… the web starts organizing itself when everyone uses this feature. How easy it is to find good sources for a topic when all you have to do is find the right group on Diigo and you have the wealth of everyone's search knowledge

Tags — Allows you to tag the bookmark like any social marking site, but it supplies recommended tags as well so you are tagging more efficiently. All you have to do is point and click

Highlighting and Sticky Notes

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This is the set of features that really sets Diigo apart in my opinion. Just click the highlight tool on the top menu and you can mark up any page. Those highlights are then saved to your Diigo library as well as the bookmark so its easy to see why the bookmark is important and you'll avoid searching for the same info down the road. Infinitely useful for writing papers and properly citing.

Additionally you can attach a sticky note to the page to add your own info and reflections to the highlight. How often have I been reading something for a paper or project that reminds me of something I need to share in the paper/presentation but it never gets there because I forgot it. Well here Diigo connects all those thoughts with the info it comes from.

Below is a shot of the highlights I made on HowCanIfindIt notice the litter [1] icon on upper left (thats a sticky). The above shot shows how these highlights and stickies show up in your library.

The way they integrated all these organizational and shareability tools is pretty amazing.

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My Library

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And here is just a shot of what your web-based library looks like outside the sidebar. Pretty standard, but all the features that lie beneath are what make Diigo the be all to end all of social bookmarking sites. I can't imagine using anything else.

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