What I Like about Diigo
Just today, Diigo, a social bookmarking site, announced their latest major release. Here is a short video produced by Diigo giving you an overview of all the new features in version 5.0.
As an avid Diigo user, I think this is an appropriate time to talk about this great tool. Here’s what I like about Diigo and what’s new in version 5.
Cloud storage for my bookmarks
I use at least three different computers on a regular basis. Before Diigo, I didn’t have a good, reliable way to keep track of all the interesting things that I would find online. Now, I can access my bookmarks anywhere, any time I need them.
My bookmark library contains hundreds of bookmarks. This would be an overwhelming amount of information to keep track of without a way to organize it. By tagging my library with relevant terms, I can easily find what I am looking for.
What sets Diigo apart from Delicious is the annotation tools. The ability to mark up, highlight, and comment on the pages I have read really makes Diigo an excellent tool. If you would take a look at any nonfiction book I own, you will see marks, notes, underlines, and even the occasional doodle. Diigo makes my online reading more like my offline reading. This helps me to remember what I read and to make more meaning out of the information that I have taken in.
My time is precious. I don’t usually have hours to peruse the web up and down to see what might be relevant or useful for my teaching. However, I can spend some time here and there looking for useful information. As it turns out, there are many other Diigo users out there who have similar constraints on their time. Put us all together, though, and you have a lot of brainpower and time going in to finding and evaluating websites. I am a member of several different groups that inform me of recent bookmarks relevant to those areas of interest.
Diigo is my first stop for what I call ‘resource shopping’. If I’m looking specifically for a website that has an interactive on the uses of simple machines, I can search the public bookmark library on Diigo. More often than not, I find what I need without having to sift through the thousands of links I would get from Google. Think again about the brain power and time of all those other Diigo users. This basically turns Diigo into a human-powered search engine and saves me an immense amount of time looking for resources online.
A little over a year ago, Diigo announced educator accounts. These accounts give teachers added flexibility to create and manage accounts for their students. Classroom groups created with an educator account are completely private by default, and no inappropriate ads will be served to those users. For a full breakdown of educator accounts and what they allow you to do, visit http://www.diigo.com/education.
I have an Android phone, and for a while it has been my only reliable Internet connection from my home. When I would come across something interesting in Twitter, the easiest option for me before was to favorite the tweet and then add it to Diigo later. The problem is, I tend to do step one and not step two…. With Diigo Power Note for Android, I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I can save bookmarks on my phone! An added bonus is the ability to add pictures and notes to my Diigo account. I can see this being a very useful tool for me.
Web Highlighter for iPad
I don’t own an iPad, but I am very interested in its potential applications for education (if anyone wants to send me a test unit, I won’t object!). The ability to use Diigo easily within the iPad browser is a welcome and promising opportunity to bring Diigo’s powerful web annotation to the popular device.
As long as I have been a user, Diigo has allowed you to take snapshots of websites and save them for later. The capture feature takes this a step further and allows you to take screen shots of sections of web pages, annotate and mark them up, and save them to your library. This feature makes it easy to save or share small portions of websites so that you only have the relevant information you are looking for. I could see this being very useful when I want to share a portion of a website with my students, rather than sharing the page and highlighting the relevant information.
What is missing…
At this point in time, there is only one thing missing for me in Diigo – the ability to upload, annotate, and share documents. I often find pdf files that are very relevant to my teaching and professional growth. I would like the ability to upload a read-only version of any sort of document so that I can mark it up, comment, and share with other people. I understand that this can be a sticky thing, what with copyright laws, but hey, a guy can dream, right?
I absolutely love Diigo. It is just as (if not more) useful to me as Twitter when it comes to finding resources for my teaching. My bookmarks are readily accessible, and if I don’t have something in my library, I can very easily find it. The apps added to version 5.0 make it even easier for me to view/add to my library wherever I am, and with whatever device I am using. Diigo continues to improve an excellent product.
Are you a Diigo user? What do you like about it? What would you like to see added?
Are you ready to jump over from the Delicious side? Don’t lose all your bookmarks! This link will help you transfer all your Delicious bookmarks into Diigo: http://www.diigo.com/help/bookmark/8.
For a full list comparing Diigo, Delicious, and traditional bookmarking, click here: http://www.diigo.com/help/why_diigo.