Diigo: a decent new social bookmarking/annotating site

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email inviting me to join the private beta of Diigo, with the hope that I’d blog about it when it launched. I’m almost a week late but here’s my entry about it.

I tried Diigo out of curiosity, not expecting that I’d like it enough to switch from del.icio.us and Evernote for keeping track of websites. Well, I tried Diigo and it’s not bad. I’ll probably keep it and hope that it will grow into something ahead of the pack instead of being yet-another-social-bookmark site.

Like del.ico.us, Furl, Blinklist, etc. it’s a social bookmark site. Save and tag your sites, find them later. See what other people are saving with the same tags (or save private). Nothing groundbreaking there.

What I like about Diigo is the Firefox toolbar.

It’s the little things…Diigo’s toolbar has a visual indicator showing you whether or not you’ve already bookmarked the site and/or whether others have left comments about this site.

Not bookmarked:

diigo2.png

Bookmarked with comments from others:

diigo1.png

When you have a lot of sites saved, it’s nice to have the visual feedback to know whether a site is already in your collection or not. You can highlight and “sticky note” a page to remind yourself as to why you bookmarked that page in the first place.

When you highlight over text on a website, a little Diigo mini-menu automatically pops up with some handy options (no clicking required):

diigo3.png

The Google Toolbar has been acting up on me so I had to uninstall it a while back (it was causing text in windows to partially disappear…known issue). Diigo’s toolbar has many of Google’s features, particularly the ability to highlight search terms on the page. Enter a term and then select which search engine you want the search to happen at, including Google, Technorati, IMDB, music sites, Blogpulse and others. I wish it had Google Suggest or the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds, but maybe in another version.

The only thing I don’t like is the fact that when you bookmark a page, all the tags that anyone ever tagged the page are filled in the pop-up:

diigo4.png

I’m rather careful about my tags. I don’t want 400 different tags, each used once. I don’t need webdev, webdevelopment, websitedesign, webdes, etc. I want to evaluate how the page has been tagged by others and then access my tags and make a tagging decision based on a combination of what I’ve already done and what makes sense for that page. In that respect, I much prefer the del.icio.us implementation which looks at your existing tags and makes suggestions, as well as what others have tagged the page. Click those that work. Who needs to create 30 different tags on every page and have a cloud of 876 tags all with the same weight?

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So I find myself wiping out diigo’s suggested tags (which can be many irrelevant and similar tags) and using autocomplete to tag based on the tags I already have, keeping the overall list under control. The diigo does have the ability to add bookmarks to del.ico.us simultaneously, but I’d rather do it manually to take advantage of the better tagging window.

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