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Diigo Social Annotation Review

Diggo Homepage on a laptop screen

Diigo Social Annotation Review

Diigo - Social AnnotationI received an email the other week asking me to take part in and review a  new service which finally launched outright this week called “Diigo“.

It’s nice to know that people read my blog, enjoy what I ramble on about and would like me to comment on it, but anyway, on with the review.

Diigo is a not your usual social bookmarking site like del.icio.us or social commentary site like Reddit or Digg, they call it a “Social Annotation website”.

They have a toolbar that integrates with Firefox, Flock and Internet Explorer that allows you to add “Sticky notes” to pages, post the pages to a del.icio.us-type bookmarking service (and del.icio.us itself plus others), forward highlighted text via email to a friend and, most importantly, add comments to webpages which other users can then view (or you could choose to make them private but that’s hardly the point of a social annotation site now is it?!).

After you have your Diigo account, you’ll be prompted to install the relevant toolbar for your browser (Sorry Safari fans, I don’t think you’re supported yet), once that’s installed and you’ve restarted your browser the fun begins!

The annotation system is accessed via a your context menu (right-click on the webpage):

Diigo - Context Menu

You can then select one of the 3 options:

Diigo - Context Menu Options

The “Bookmark” option allows you to send the page url to your Diigo account and add comments – the best thing about it though is that you don’t get redirected away from the site like you do with del.icio.us. Clicking the “Bookmark” option brings up a new menu:

Diigo - Bookmark Menu

You can add your tags, comments etc and post directly from the browser.

If a user has already submitted a comment, they will be viewed in the bookmark window:

Diigo - Comments

You can also forward selected text from the page to someone via email. Highlight the text you wish to send and choose “Highlight and forward” from the context menu, this will not only take the selected text (HTML and all) but also highlight the text which will remain visible on the page until you remove it – even if you come back ages later:

Diigo - Highlighted text

Above: Highlighted text, Below: the Forwarding Screen

Diigo - Email Forward

You can add further information to pages through the use of “Sticky notes”, furthering the annotations:

Diigo - Sticky Notes

There’s loads of functionality here, and I’m sure that once it get’s noticed  Diigo could be bigger than del.icio.us with the amount of features it has an ease of use. Hardcore del.icio.us fans should be at ease with the interface which contains the obligatory “web2.0” tag clouds:

Diigo - My Homepage

Plus, you can post to your del.icio.us account from Diigo and import your existing boomarks – bonus!

My only complaint is that their servers aren’t as reliable as I would like (mind you, del.icio.us isn’t that reliable either), in fact I’ve had to hold off writing this review until the service was back up and running, here’s the message I got yesterday when I tried to log on:

Diigo - Out of action

Which lasted more than an hour but hey, they’ve just started and with the influx of new users I’m not surprised they’re having teething problems.

Will I be swapping from del.icio.us completely? Not yet, I’ll run the two side by side for now but I’m sure Diigo will win out eventually.

All in all, a top-notch and extremly powerful little tool which everyone should have a look at – well done and a round of applause to the Diigo team!

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About The Author
Katy is always trying to be more productive one day at a time! Whether it's analogue, digital, motivational or psychological who'll try any system that will help her get things done and get organised. As well as running FlippingHeck.com, she also loves making music and reviewing things.
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