Solving the bookmarking headache

It is entirely possible that I have tried every bookmarking service invented. It is the top tech headache on my list that has never been adequately solved. I promise you, if it exists, I’ve tried it. Some last longer than others – Yoono hung around for a bit, Del.icio.us went out the door very quickly, and NetRocket got me briefly excited – but none has exhibited staying power. Generally speaking, these services put too much focus on the social aspect and neglect to solve the basic problem – helping me find and work with my bookmarks quickly and easily. Will the recently upgraded Diigo, which initially launched at DEMOfall 07, prove to be the answer to my bookmarking headaches? Time will tell. One thing is for sure: with a slate of features that covers most every issue in the bookmarking/sharing/highlighting game, this service is sure to have something for everyone.

At first glance, Diigo seems all over the map. The service offers bookmarking, highlighting of text within a page, commenting on a site for others to see, sending options, groups for networking and much more. To label it as a simple bookmark service would be unfair; it’s much more than that and could very well emerge as an oft-used research tool in my browser (that would be Tech Headache #2 on my list.) There’s much I like about the service and a few things I dislike. Though initially overwhelming, Diigo has been made as user friendly as possible by its developers. The multitude of features could easily kludge up a site but the Diigo team has made quick work of them. It’s design and UI are top-notch – so much so that I recommended Diigo to another company as an excellent example of creating elegance out of chaos. I do wish the search function was a bit deeper and more robust; if a bookmark isn’t explicitly tagged, search doesn’t find it. For a bookmarking service to truly work its way into my heart, I need a better search. For more detailed reviews of the product itself, check out Web Worker Daily and Webware.

What I find most interesting about Diigo is precisely what turns some off: the scope. This is one of the most full-featured and in-depth Web 2.0 products I’ve seen in a long time. Rather than focus on one headache of the social Web, the company is aiming to solve seemingly all of them. Ironically, one of my bugaboos in startups is a company who casts too wide a net. Pick a target market or two and laser in, I always say. When it comes to this space though – the collecting of online content for future use – I think some aggregation is overdue. The myriad services dedicated to this purpose all have their upsides, but in general only end up adding to the noise. If I can depend on one site for all my bookmarking and clipping needs, that will significantly reduce the clutter in my tool bar. From my experience so far, it’s looking like that site will be Diigo.


9 Comments »

  1. Bill Bittner said

    Did you try Google Bookmarks and/or Google Notebooks? Both very simble and generally cover all bookmarking and clipping needs, minus the social aspect.

  2. wade said

    Carla,

    Thank you for the review. We appreciate the compliment, especially coming from someone who must have seen tons of apps and start-ups.

    Regarding search, Diigo in fact offers probably the most advanced search among all social bookmarking services. You can search your bookmarks by tags, title, highlights, comments, AND the full-text of the pages. The problem you may have experienced is probably due to the fact your bookmarks have not been cached and indexed. It does take sometime, especially since we are getting huge numbers of bookmarks per day recently.

  3. Howdy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Diigo.com. From an educator perspective (I’m in K-12 school district), I have found Diigo to be the ultimate low-stress solution to a variety of needs. One stop shopping for Web 2.0 tools such as social bookmarking, group sharing of bookmarks, annotation/highlighting tools of the web–making it even more Read/Write in a way that follows the individual–makes it easy to jump into.

    Diigo appears to be a way to get the best of sites like Facebook, Delicious, Ning, without the onus of established communities, marketing. I like the idea of ad-hoc communities forming as needed around bookmarks–a common interest–and being able to have short conversations about those without a lasting commitment, as if we were a long term community (e.g. Ning). While the other services are great, I like the “community lite” feel of Diigo more.

    One other piece is RAPID support offered by folks at Diigo. You can track my learning and progress through Diigo here:
    http://tinyurl.com/2nzxlv

    Again, if I seem overly positive, there’s nothing that impresses me more than a quality product with superior, timely support. Should that support or quality falter, I’ll be ruthless in withdrawing my support.

    What I’m really looking for is Diigo-Education version without advertising. I hope that the Diigo folks will recognize the tremendous contribution educators have made and can make when they involve their students.

    Again, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on Diigo. It helps me come to a better understanding of the product.

    With appreciation,

    Miguel Guhlin
    Director, Instructional Technology Services
    Large Urban District
    San Antonio, Tx

    Around the Corner-MGuhlin.net
    http://mguhlin.net

  4. prazim said

    Hi Carla,
    I have been using Diigo since I learned about it through Library Clips. With a background in evaluating, implementing, and supporting technology, I quickly recognized that Diigo not only endeavors to rise to the call of robust solutions, but does so in a well thought out user-focused way. In getting started, I needed to import 1,500 or so bookmarks, and Diigo didn’t even flinch. That was not the case with other platforms I took for a test-drive. Mt collection has now grown to nearly 7,000, and they are all cleanly organized by Diigo, both on their platform, and through simultaneously posting in my local browser-based bookmarks (this is one of their options).

    I have been able to not only accumulate a large number of links in Diigo, but also uniquely share them with 3 different groups on that platform that have specific core interests.

    I have also found the ability to annotate and highlight segments of pages to be invaluable, and have gotten good feedback from others related to those personalizations and comments.

    The cross-posting feature of Diigo is also excellent, and fast. Because not everyone on the Internet is yet using Diigo, the cross-posting feature enables me to alert those who share common interests on the other platforms to links they may find to be of value.

    Support and responsiveness to requests for specialized features is second to none, and extremely prompt, which is virtually unheard of for a start up.

    I have to admit that because the Diigo team is extremely talented, and thorough, they have included features that I haven’t even used yet, such as the video clips feature. There is a consolation in that, as I know that as a need arises, they have already met it, so investing in building my content there won’t be something I will come to regret.

    Happy Diigo-ing!
    Sue Cifelli

  5. Mike said

    I’ve been using Diigo in conjunction with del.icio.us. In fact if they didn’t have del.icio.us integration i wouldn’t have started using it. I like the notation features it has for keeping track of information. I use comments, description, highlight and sticky notes. I once used Diigo to present research to the Boss!

    Look forward to recording a podcast with Maggie and Wade on Friday!

    -M

  6. Claire Hertz said

    I appreciate your comments on Diigo. I have spent the last 10 days learning how to use it, and love it. I especially like the sidebar showing the latest activity of the on line community I’ve joined on Diigo. We are teachers and the Diigo tools have saved me a tremendous amount of time. I am able to meet with the great minds of the Ed Tech and Edublogger communities from around the world and take what I learn from them back to the teachers in my own district in Oregon.

    I will be showing 30 teachers Diigo this next Tuesday, and hope I have learned enough to do it justice in my demo.

    The Diigo staff have been amazing. I have never seen such immediate support. They listen to our ideas, and make changes overnight. They even take the time to inform us when they have completed the changes. They DO know what customer service is.

    Each time I visit Diigo I find more ways to use it. This is why I like it for teachers. The beginning user can simply make bookmarks, and over time as they become more comfortable the service will grow with them.

    Wish me luck on Tuesday…

    Claire

  7. Krissa said

    I’m in e-learning and we’re using Diigo’s group functionalities for a new wing of our company. We need quick access to information to help students answer questions, and our collection of bookmarks plus group annotations plus Diigo’s robust tag and text-searching enable us to get to that information quickly. The Diigo sidebar, we think, will become increasingly useful to us as our program develops – to be able to visit a page and see how our fellow tutors have used that page will be fabulous. Additionally, we use the forum and bookmarking tools together for teambuilding. We have several lively discussions going on in the forums.

  8. siva said

    Nice post on Social Bookmarking

  9. Muthu said

    Yes Bill Bittner.I have tried Google bookmarks.I found lot from that.They are simple and clever.I would suggest this those who want to know about Social Bookmarking.
    ———-
    muthu

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