What is Social Bookmarking?
Social Bookmarking is a collaborative method of browsing the internet. Everytime you make a bookmark, you can allow that bookmark to be seen by other people. In turn, every time you visit a webpage, you can see what other people viewing that webpage have bookmarked; this allows users to share relevant websites.
What is Diigo?
Diigo is a browser add-on, it jumps on the back of Internet Explorer or Firefox and incorporates its user interface into that program. At a first glance, it is a new way of organising your bookmarks; It allows you to take your bookmarks with you wherever you go, as you just need to log into Diigo to access them. However, Diigo allows much more than just that…
Diigo has another browser add-on available, called webslides, this allows a user to organise a specific set of bookmarks into a presentation format.
My Journey using Diigo.
My first impressions of Diigo were not positive at all. This was before I really knew the benefits of Social Bookmarking. I didn’t like how Diigo took up space within my browser, I didn’t like how Diigo ‘reorganised’ my existing bookmarks for me, and at first I didn’t understand how to use the program. However, this opinion changed as I grew accustomed to the software and I began viewing sites which had been heavily annotated; an amazing new way of looking at the internet! Diigo has opened up the internet. My research has become so much easier.
Before using Diigo I would go through all the standard portals for beginning research, such as Wikipedia or Google searching. Now I still start at those places, but I’m able to see what other people visiting those same sites have been looking at. From there, I have ten times as many jumping off points to real infomation and they seem to be much more relevant than when I was searching on my own.For future projects I will be able to create groups, and then everyone within that group will be able to share their research in an easy and collaborative manner.
The highlighting and commenting features of Diigo really stood out to me. As you are browsing using Diigo you will find that many parts of the internet are now highlighted, or have comments attached to them. This is a fantastic way of browsing the internet as now you can get various different opinions and ideas about what you are viewing.
The more that you use Diigo, the broader its applications become, I am not just using this tool for my uni work, I use it when researching my own external interests such as music, videogames and movies. This is where the program really starts to shine, as you are browsing other peoples’ bookmarks on your specific interests and you will find a whole bunch of little website gems that you didn’t know about.
This is the difference between searching the internet using Google, and searching using Diigo. Google is great because its search algorithms are incredibly complex and intelligent; throwing up thousands of hits for most searches. But Diigo’s bookmarks are made by real people, and as such have a degree of personality and humanity to them. Once you start knowing some of the names out there with the same interests the internet just seems more accessible and easy.
Discussions are also possible through Diigo, both privately and publicly, this allows a greater level of interactivity and understanding with whatever you might be looking at.
It can also be used on portable devices, such as the iPhone; allowing you to send a link to a friend or colleague easily when reminded of something you saw on the net.
Now this program does compete with del.icio.us, if any one is using that particular Social Bookmarking tool they can easily transfer all of your del.icio.us links directly into Diigo. It has all the same features as del.icio.us, with the added benefit of social interactivity and various highlighting features.
- Organising. Diigo is an excellent way to organise your bookmarks, as they can be put into categories with cloud tags for more relevant browsing.
- The social aspect. As you can read other user’s comments and annotations, Diigo takes the normally individual pastime of reading and research and introduces a community to interact with.
- Easy to use. This is incredibly important when considering its use within the classroom.
- Research tool. Diigo is above all, a fantastic tool for conducting research on the internet.
- Collaboration. Being able to be in a group of like-minded individuals researching the same topic is an excellent way to get the task done quickly and comprehensively.
- Expanding contacts. Through searching similarly themed websites, you may come across people you have heard of in real life, or those who work in the same profession.
- Intrusive. Diigo can be very intrusive to some users, as it adds a toolbar to the top of your browser page and includes a new method for organising bookmarks which not every user will be comfortable with.
- Not enough users. Simply put, the community isn’t large enough and many people aren’t using all of Diigo’s features. As a result there are often little to no annotations or sticky notes on websites. This reinforces the fact that the true strength of Diigo lies in creating groups, and sharing bookmarks of common interest.
- Install process. This includes signing up to Diigo, setting up an account, getting to grips with the new interface, and then installing webslides as well. This could be off-putting for many new users.
- Unavailable on public computers. Because Diigo uses a specific port to allow its information sharing to work, Diigo will not be usable on most public and school computers.
Screen Real Estate. The Diigo sidebar, when opened, can take a fair chunk of smaller screens.
- Internet vandals. This is always going to be an issue on any collaborative tool on the internet. Some people, when they realise they are anonymous on the internet become an absolute idiot, and will stop at nothing to annoy normal internet users.
- Social Bookmarking Wiki entry
- Diigo Wiki entry
- About Diigo
- Negative Review
- Positive Review
- Top Ten Research Tools
Original copy by Jack Egan (Nov 11, 2008 )