Saturday, March 17, 2012

Diigo - A new way of sharing links

Today I spent my morning and early afternoon at a learning day for one of the schools I teach for. We got to choose workshops to go to and, to be honest, I was in no mood to look deeper than the workshop title and, being in such a mood, I resolved to take notes and look up information later. As I play with these new techniques and ideas, I intend to share them with you all. Today's is a site called Diigo.

When I first sat down to play with Diigo, it reminded me of Rachel's post on Pinterest. Diigo is a site that allows users to "pin" things to a list. The main difference, however, is that Diigo allows users to bookmark websites while Pinterest focuses on visuals and pictures.

I love sharing links. If I find something useful, I want others to see it and respond to me with their thoughts. It helps me process things and see what others think of the things I come across. My only problem is that I'll save a link somewhere: in an email, in a folder, in a list of bookmarks, in a word document... only to then forget where I saved it when I need it.  Sure, I can save it my browser's bookmarks, but then I can't access it from a library, or other school computer, or even my phone (which I use a lot for work).

Diigo has provided an easy way for me to save links, share them, mark them up with my notes, and save them to a place that is universally accessible, even from my phone. Diigo is a quick and easy way to access information that you've marked without having to search through an infinite amount of space and is easily customisable.

The Diigolet menu
The Diigolet -- I love this! It attaches to your bookmark section on your web browser. When you find a page you like, you click on the icon and the Diigo menu pops up. You can do almost anything from that menu. From the Diigolet menu, you can  use the highlighter to highlight a word or passage, bookmark it in your Diigo file, add a sticky note to the page, share the link on Facebook, Twitter, email, or to get an annotated link.

If you choose to add it to your library, it will show up on your library page and you can then file it away in a neat little list. Your lists can be public or private, allowing you to share certain things with students, friends, and colleagues, but not everything. Similarly, any highlighted portions show up publicly, if in a shared list, but sticky notes are your own private notations. I suspect that it is possible to share them publicly if you upgrade, but don't quote me on that :).

How a bookmarked page with highlights and sticky notes appears on the Diigo homepage
Diigo site -- The site is extremely user friendly. There are tutorial videos and you can follow Diigo on Twitter (@Diigo) to receive live updates and help. From your library page, you can see a neatly organised list of your bookmarked sites as well as any highlights or notations you've made. You can see your lists and whether they are private or public. You can also, if you choose to, tag your sites to make them easily searchable. You can edit links, delete them, add sticky notes to them from the library page, and organise them.

The Diigo community -- This is a feature I am just beginning to play with. Diigo provides a way to follow other users, join and create groups, and look at popular links from other Diigo users. It is a great way to connect with other Diigo users and, quite possibly, stumble upon links that you didn't know existed.

Ultimately, I see great potential for this site. At the moment, I am organising links into general categories, but as I add more, I will probably make more specific lists. You can share lists using a permalink, email, or a social media website. I love that Diigo is so easily integrated into the other websites that I use. Instead of having to open six different things to save something, I can do it all on Diigo. I can see assigning students a project where they create a list of links based on a topic for other students to look at, read, and evaluate. I can also see this as a great tool for the student who wants a little more: a quick way to provide updated links without having to update your website all the time.

As I play a little more and see what the community features have to offer I will update everyone on Diigo and how I am using it. As always, I'd love to hear your feedback and any ideas you see for Diigo that I haven't yet :)

Miriam