Diigo Premium Accounts
Free vs. Paid
Diigo is an excellent product. It is much more feature-rich than Delicious, and it offers capabilities that I have not seen in any other bookmarking service. The ability to highlight and annotate web pages has become an essential feature for my online reading. I have also become increasingly dependent on the screen capture and annotation tools available in the browser toolbars.
Since its beginning, Diigo has been a free product. Every year, Diigo has added innovative new features that continue to make it more and more indispensable to many people (myself included). With version 5, several new features were added, including the ability to upload and annotate images and to save cached versions of sites.
With the addition of premium accounts, users now need to ask themselves whether or not they need the added functionality of a paid account, or if the free (basic) functionality meets their needs.
The essential features of Diigo are still 100% free. Users can still save an unlimited number of bookmarks, tag saved sites, add sticky notes, and search Diigo’s public bookmark database. Other tools like blog integration and group creation are still there. Free users have a limited number of highlights (50 per month) and can also expect ads.
Basic (free) education accounts have unlimited highlighting and add the functionality to create additional, private accounts with limited advertising for students.
Premium accounts eliminate ads and add the following features previously available to all users:
- cache pages – Save a page to Diigo just as you see it. Google does this for free, but with Diigo, you are in charge of which cached version you have available. This is particularly useful for me because I use webquests in my classroom. By having a cached version of the site available, I am able to continue using it even though the original site may go offline. Diigo also adds the ability to cache an image of the page. This makes it easy to share cached pages with others.
- full text search – Personally, I find Diigo’s search function much more useful than Google when I am looking for something to use in my classroom. The full text search of premium accounts goes beyond just tags and meta info added by Diigo users. It will also search the full text of cached pages to give more relevant results.
- capture and annotate images – This feature was added with the version 5 release, and in the last couple of months has become invaluable to me. Diigo allows you to upload a version of any image you see on the Internet to their servers. Before you upload it, you have the ability to annotate the image drawing attention to certain things or adding explanatory text. This feature has been great for me in adding screen shots to my blog as well as sharing sites with colleagues.
- capture and annotate whole web pages – Along with the ability to capture images, Diigo gives you the capability to capture and annotate the images and text of any web page. This can be more convenient than annotated links because everything is captured as an image. All of the annotations are embedded, and can be viewed across multiple platforms.
- priority support – This is the only part of the premium accounts that I’m not sure I will use. I have never had issues with anything Diigo puts out, and therefore have never needed support. They are very responsive to the community, however, and I’m really looking forward to more great things.
Overall, I think this is a good move for Diigo. In order for any company to grow, there has to be some way to make the business sustainable. This ‘freemium’ model is a proven way to make a good product even better (just think about Glogster and Voicethread), and I am really excited about more great things to come from Diigo.