Diigo : The End Of Bookmarks?

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Diigo is perhaps one of the web’s premier research tools – this is widely accepted. Whether Web 2.0 actually ever existed is irrelevant, but the innovation brought to us these last two years is undeniable. The big question for me has been:

“Does the innovation actually do anything for us?” I think I have tested and reviewed over 300 startups in the last couple of years, and I can honestly say that most of this innovation has been directed at entertainment or rather useless “cuteness”. Diigo as a tool, could be viewed as a much more serious innovation by comparison.


With the release of Version 3, Diigo has fairly effectively expanded its reach into the social networking venue even farther. Aside from that, the inherent tools available on Diigo as a aggregationa and research platform have been expanded greatly also. So many startups have been either hyped or constructively accentuated that it is sometimes difficult to put an actual value on them, this is not the case for any of Diigo’s faithful users.

Version 3

The “community” buzz word has really invaded our Web consciousness these days, but the actual effectiveness and potential productivity of these communities is what should really be stressed. Diigo’s community, in using all the function of Diigo’s innovation and refinements, has the ability to help build relationships based around perhaps our greatest asset – knowledge. Diigo’s latest release of Version 3 illustrates the proper metamorphosis of a truly valuable community, or content and data reflected on a growing and engaged set of people. The innovators developed a way to collect and store knowledge efficiently, and then refined the platform to foster collaboration in learning.

Diigo 2

Beyond Bookmarks

The Diigo platform was developed around the Diigo browser add on) that enables people to actually highlight and perform functions on sections of or whole Web pages. The purpose was and is to help people grab relevant content and effectively aggregate, save and/or store this data. Diigo essentially transformed the bookmark into a more usable and effective data collection tool and has also enabled a very unique and positive community aspect with V3. Diigo basically enables people to study and research as one would in a library – by taking pertinent pieces of the knowledge puzzle and putting them where they are accessible, functional and more easily utilized.

  • Diigo’s Collaborative Research Platform – This is the premise on which Diigo was built, a platform for gathering, using and sharing information. Not just any information, but highly filtered and relevant information beyond the weightiness of full Web pages and extraneous data. Diigo allows users to add, gather or extract from pages of information and then share or work with others to further refine knowledge. Users can define their content on a group, community and ultimatly on a personal level via this even more enhanced UI.
  • Social Content Site – The aggregate gathered annotated data on Diigo provides a collective repository quite unlike any other. Data becomes knowledge refined at Diigo because of the human filtering aspect inherent in the way people can “slice” or refine their annotations and bookmarks. Essentially everything gathered on to the Diigo platform becomes either a personal or communicative volume in the Diigo library. In this was Diigo content is perhaps more social than on any other site. Searchability and the host of Diigo user tools make endless the possibilities in utilizing this storehouse of information.

The Power of Suggestion

Version 3 has more than 100 refinements to help users more efficiently interact with knowledge and data. Perhaps the best of all these tools is the new sidebar that makes it simple to see your annotations, links, notes and even the suggested or similar data of other users. The sidebar interface is much more visible and interactive than even Diigo’s previous interface and light years ahead of the closest competitor. Combined with the Diigo toolbar makes Diigo an even more powerful collaborative tool. Users now have the ability to search and select suggested data from other users as well as suggesting relevant knowledge to their friends. Suggestion, when presented by like minded users, can effectively act as a knowledge filter which narrows search to a fine point. This is what Diigo can be best at, presenting relevant knowledge in a much more filtered and refined way.

The bottom line on any startup or existent company is the value the user derives from it. Entertainment, communicative and frivolous utility is great, but I think a mixture of serious tools with what we might call “academic coolness” is what makes a Web 2.0 service tick. Diigo has these qualities in abundance and unlike other simple bookmarking tools – a networing anc collaborative aspect. In a real way I do not understand how anyone would need another bookmarking or annotation service. It is also a little puzzling that Diigo has not taken the Web by storm. Perhaps there are not enough people with serious research or knowledge needs out there. But that is a question for another discourse, I suggest checking Diigo out.

Phil Butler
Phil Butler is theEditor at Everything PR, Argophilia Travel News,  and Senior Partner at Pamil Visions PR. He’s a widely cited authority on beta startups, search engines and public relations issues, and he has covered tech news since 2004. Phil wrote in the past for ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, Profy, SitePoint, Search Engine Journal, AltSearchEngines. Follow Phil on Twitter or send him an email at phil [at] pamil-visions [dot] com.
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  • http://www.andrewflusche.com Andrew Flusche, Virginia Lawyer

    I didn’t realize Diigo had those suggestion features. That sounds like a killer feature all by itself. Maybe I should check this thing out…

  • http://www.phi-butler.com Phil Butler

    Thanks Andrew,

    It is an honor to be able to post to Loren’s great blog. I wanted more people to know about this serious tool and there is no better place to reach great readers who like serious apps.

    Yes, Diigo is far more useful than even I realized. I don’t usually rant over startups any more, but the best should get recognition.



  • http://www.icebergondemand.com Wayne Byrne

    As a constant changer of pc’s, operating systems and browsers I’ve yet to find a tool to replace bookmarks and finally end my ongoing loss of bookmarks. I’m going to give diigo a look and see how it pans out.

    I’m also noticing that people are beginning to search on sites like delicious instead of google, maybe thats the way its all going….

  • http://www.phil-butler.com Phil Butler

    A great point Wayne. Narrowed search is one way of refining or filtering – a quasi-human filter if you will. I think this kind of innovation combined with semantic or AI will likely be at least one aspect of the next search.


  • http://www.kavoir.com Yang

    Nice intro, Phil!

    Just checked out their site, and I think Diigo organizes things in a much more elegant way and at the same time does more for users than most average social site by aggregating and utilizing information from everyone by everyone for everyone.

    Rock on, Diigo!

  • http://mythoughtsideasandramblings.com Lisa

    I too have been trying out Diigo. I love how easy it is to use. It also has so many practical applications in what I do that I have started using it for work projects.

  • http://www.phil-butler.com Phil Butler

    @ Yang and Lisa,

    Hi guys, thanks! Well, Diigo has really sold itself and has not been overly hyped by blogdom. I became aware of them after reviewing their beta some time back. A truly excellent startup, I use it all the time too.


  • http://www.loverslawn.com Ananya

    Diigo is a wonderful tool, overall. The features it offers are pretty amazing. I anticipate Diigo will revolutionize the way some things get done over the Web. Only thing I cannot find: how to import a bookmark file which is not the favorites?

  • http://wordsofabrokenmirror.com Alina Popescu

    I’ve just started using Diigo and I am still in the process of discovering what great stuff it has to offer. I believe it’s one of the best tools there is for research and annotations and it’s bookmarking system might prove a lot more efficient than everything I tried before.

  • http://www.zude.com/matthewkraft Matthew

    I’ve been hearing whispers about Diigo all week, and hadn’t been able to wrap my head around it. This (and the pics) helped a lot. I’m one of those “learn and study before using” guys, so this solidified my resolve to give it a shot.


  • http://www.phil-butler.com Phil Butler

    @ Alina and Matt,
    The new release of Diigo has been buzzing around this week. TC did not do it justice but RWW and Webware did nice posts that reflected what the platform is capable of.

    I am like you Matt, if I had not tested Diigo from the start, I may have never tried it unless someone really got my attention.

    Thanks Always,

  • http://rj3sp.blogspot.com/ Rob

    Good to stress again that Diigo is not just another social bookmarking site, but a sophisticated research tool and a knowledge-sharing and social content site.
    Moreover the well designed user interface makes it useful for as well elementary bookmarking and note taking as for professional annotating and documentation purposes. I expect that these features will soon be widely recognized.

  • http://www.thearticlewriter.com Matt Keegan

    Thanks for the report, Phil. I’m amazed at how the technology is evolving to the point where people can share knowledge so easily. I’ll be tracking Diigo because it looks like the wave of the future is here.

  • http://www.phil-butler.com Phil Butler

    @ Rob and Matt,

    Thanks to you guys! Yes, we are on the threshold of some truly amazing stuff – I just wish it would get here faster rather than us having to sift through all this fluff in order to find it.


  • Michael Marlatt

    Phil, thanks for the great write-up! I am a Recruiting Professional at Microsoft and have been using Diigo extensively as I am constantly sourcing for talent on from the web. Whether I am surfing the web, sourcing for resumes or conducting competitive intelligence, Diigo allows me to quickly capture relevant data, create annotations, keep it all organized, easily retrievable, simultaneously share (real-time) content with my team, and oh by the way I can do this without my personal computer from anywhere in the world. The days of simply book-marking favorites in a browser (old-school) and creating “bookmarklets” is definitely not efficient. This is especially true if you have 100’s (if not 1000’s) of favorite sites stored in your current browser. Diigo has vastly simplified how I maintain and share content from the web. For anyone who has not yet tried it, you should check it out.

  • Joe

    I agree that diigo is a great tool. I have actively started using it lately and actually have a group and list that I keep updated since I started. Only problems I see for diigo is the fact that you have to install software to use it. This has been a major killer of a lot of good apps. Diigo needs to try to get with Microsoft and Firefox to try to get it as an install option by default. This would open up their user base to more that just us tech geeks.

  • http://www.phil-butler.com Phil Butler

    @Michael and Joe,

    Wow, I knew Diigo was a great tool but even I did not realize how diverse the applications might extend. I agree on the Microsoft aspects too Joe. This tool, with some more modification, could approach that “all in one” we heard about – at least to a large extent.


  • http://www.edtechpower.blogspot.com Liz Davis

    Diigo is certainly taking the educational technology world by a storm. It is all everyone is talking about. I did a little intro to Diigo screencast that might be helpful to your readers: http://edtechpower.blogspot.com/2008/03/one-for-tuesday-3-25-2008.html

  • http://www.phil-butler.com Phil Butler

    Hi Liz,

    Yes, Diigo is so great in this particular aspect..I wish I had been able to use it in college. Imagine taking all those quotations directly out and pasting them into papers and research. Powerful!