Social Bookmarking and Diigo

Photo courtesy of webtreats, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

The Problem with Bookmarking

Computer uses often have websites that they visit regularly, even daily. Creating a bookmark (or favorite) within an internet browser allows the user to save the internet address of the website and not have to remember it or type it repeatedly. The bookmarks are stored in a list that can be edited at any time. 

While this list can help computer uses to remember important websites and to provide access quickly, there are a number of disadvantages:
  • The bookmarks are located on a specific computer. Bookmarks from work computers are not automatically available on home computers, and vice versa.
  • Large collections of bookmarks can become unmanageable.
  • For large pages or websites, users may not remember why they created a bookmark, or what part of the page they were trying to save.
  • All the research involved in building a list of important bookmarks is "trapped" on a users computer; that information is available only to one user.
Social Bookmarking solves these problems.

What is Social Bookmarking?

Social Bookmarking is simply making bookmarks available to a social network. Rather than storing bookmarks on a local computer, the bookmarks are stored to a social bookmarking website. By default, the bookmarks are available for the network to view.

Using a social bookmarking service instead of traditional bookmarking has a number of advantages:

  • Bookmarks are available on any computer. Since bookmarks are stored to the web, they can be accessed and edited from anywhere.
  • Social bookmarks can be searched; this helps to located sites in large bookmark collections. Additionally, the entire network's bookmarks can be searched. Users can often find new resources from their peers.
  • A note can be written for each social bookmark. This can help a user to remember what was important for a certain bookmark, especially for large websites or for specific purposes for a saving website.
  • Users can share their research with the entire network. The efforts of each user are no longer trapped on local computers. The entire network can benefit from the location of useful websites. Furthermore, network statistics can be used to highlight the websites that the network values, helping the other users to find useful websites.

Why Social Bookmarking?

When one searches for a website on a browser, the browser decides what sites to display depending on the information that is given.  It also depends on what browser is being used as to what sites are being displayed.  This comes into play when one is looking for a website, especially a website that is being referred to them.  If one was using a social bookmarking site, the individual could go on to their friends bookmarking site and pull up the exact website without any problems. 

Social Bookmarking sites are a great marketing tool because it allows for people to join groups that they have similar interests with.  If one has a blog, sales site or information site, this would be a great way to get the information out.  Also, teachers can use social bookmarking sites int he classroom.  This allows the students to access their teachers bookmarking site and do research on the sites that are listed for a particular subject or concept.  This becomes a great way to keep students safe as they search the internet and learn.

The final advantage is the easy accessibility.  One can pull up their favorite sites from anywhere.  If one is away form home, work or the particular computer that they found the website on, they can still access it without any problems.  This is amazing for those who want to work or research while on the go.  It also allows one to save a new bookmark regardless of where they are because it goes straight to the bookmarking site.

Why Diigo for Social Bookmarking?

Image courtesy of Ludwig Gatzke, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License.

Diigo is one of many social bookmarking services. So why would a user choose Diigo? Even more specifically, why would a student or educator choose Diigo?

Diigo has many unique features that make it stand out among other social bookmarking services:

  • Diigo allows users to annotate webpages. Other social bookmarking sites let users save a website title, description and to tag the website with relevant keywords. Diigo does this, but also lets users highlight portions of a webpage, or to add a virtual "sticky note" on the website. And the annotations can be made available to the entire network to help other users.
  • Diigo saves a screenshot of webpages. This can help users to remember what the page looked like previously, especially if the page was changed over time.
  • Diigo users can create lists of websites. This helps users to organize their bookmarks around a topic.
  • Diigo users can join groups of users. Users can join numerous groups around a field or topic, and the group can be used to discover new bookmarks of relevance.
  • Diigo bookmarks can be automatically exported to Delicious. Delicious is the grandfather of social bookmarking. When a Diigo user saves a bookmark, the title, notes and keyword tags can be saved in both Diigo and Delicious, so a user can be a part of both social networks.
  • Diigo allow teachers to create and manage student accounts. As noted above, Diigo has many tools that aid in storing, documenting and recalling information. Many educators and students have found this to be useful for research and learning. Recognizing this audience, Diigo has created Diigo Educator Accounts for managing a classroom social network.