Let’s start with a little history lesson.
Waay back in 1996, when Beth and I laughed to tears while trolling in chatrooms, when I created the “xgravity23” nickname I still use today, the Internet was just gaining popularity. Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator both offered users the ability to keep track of favorite sites via bookmarks. Unfortunately, bookmarks are only accessible from the computer you saved them on.
Along came del.icio.us: Suddenly, your favorite sites are with you wherever you go. In the end, unfortunately, del.icio.us is just a bookmarking site. You can tag and write a short note for each bookmark, but that is about the limit of interactivity between you and the sites you save.
Then there was Diigo
First, a quote from the Diigo help center What’s New? page to clear up what was one of my first questions: How do you say it? And where does it come from?
Diigo is pronounced as Dee’go. The name “Diigo” is an abbreviation for “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff.”, an intentional open mandate for Diigo to relentlessly innovate to make Diigo the best knowledge sharing and management platform for individuals, work groups, and companies.
Now that you can say it right in your head, know what it stands for, and see the Diigo crew’s lofty goals, let me try to convince you to give it a try.
If you like del.icio.us, you will love Diigo.
I will not be the first to say it, but Diigo is like del.icio.us on steriods. Diigo bookmarks your favorite sites, uses tags to classify your bookmarks, allows you to make bookmarks private or public. It can even automatically post your latest saves to your blog.
But Diigo provides innovative ways to interact with web sites.
Diigo lets you highlight text on a page and annotate it with sticky notes. As a PhD student in the 21st century, this innovation frees me from downloading and re-reading sites I use for my research on the internet. I use less paper and I save time. Still want to use del.icio.us? That’s fine: set Diigo to post to your del.icio.us, Ma.gnolia, or Simpy) simultaneously.
Diigo also makes it more-than-easy to email a web site to a friend. I like Google Reader for the same reason, but Diigo out-shines even Google Reader. Highlight the text on a page that you want your friend to see and that text will be included when you email the page to them. Eliminates the “Huh? Why did she send me this link?” problem.
I generally shy away from using any service that requires me to download a tool bar, but the Diigo tool bar earned its keep quickly. The tool bar not only provides quick access to your Diigo dashboard, bookmarks, lists, groups, and contacts, but also makes for easy bookmarking, highlighting, commenting, and sending.
When you install the tool bar, you also get the same functionality from your right-click menu. Whichever format you are most comfortable with, you’ve got it.
Hands-down best feature?
Diigo caches the pages you bookmark so you’ll always be able to view the page, even if the original site goes down. Haven’t had to use it yet, but I know I’ll be relieved when I do!
Give it a try!
It’s been called a supercharged social networking tool, a cut above del.icio.us, and “Diigo” has even been used as a verb. Even though I know I haven’t discovered all the features, it’s changed the way I interact with web pages.
Are you already using Diigo? What do you think? If you’re not, will you take it for a spin? What feature(s) are you most interested in trying out?