Diigo & del.icio.us

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got tons of bookmarks saved in your browser. When I click to look at mine, the list just scrolls down the screen. I never bother to organize them or put them in folders – does anybody? Also, if you’re like me, when you look down the list at some of those pages you’ve bookmarked, you can’t remember why you even saved them in the first place. I have enough trouble remembering where I left my TV remote. Don’t ask me to remember what I was thinking 6 years ago when I bookmarked “The Happiest Potties on Earth
Even when I can remember why I bookmarked a site, those sites are only available to me if I’m using my own computer. There are times when I’m working in a classroom with a student or teacher and have to spend time searching for a site that I could easily find if I had my bookmarks available to me. If only there was a way to put all my bookmarks online so I could access them from anywhere. Wouldn’t that be great? (Here comes the product plug…)

You might as well call it “Bookmarks to go” (or “Favorites to go” if you’re still using Internet Explorer). The word is the web site. No www’s or .com’s. It’s just del.icio.us and it’s FREE! You just need to register and create a user name. Then you will have your own del.icio.us site where you can add your bookmarks. You can access them from any computer just by going to your site. To help you remember why you bookmarked a site, you can add your own comments (think: reminders) to each of your bookmarks.
In addition to your comments, when you add a bookmark to del.icio.us, you can see how many other people have also bookmarked that site along with the comments they wrote. If you click on another user’s name, you can see their bookmarks as well. This is called “social bookmarking”.
Imagine you’re interested in vintage Volkwagons. You find a great web page and add it to your del.icio.us site. Then you see that 20 other people have also bookmarked and commented on that same web page. If you click on the user name of one of those people you can check their bookmarks and possibly find other great vintage VW web pages – pages that they’ve found that might also match your own interests.
For a more detailed description of del.icio.us, visit Steve Dembo’s Digital Passports blog.

Diigo does what del.icio.us does, but takes it one step further. In addition to online bookmarks and comments, you can also highlight sections of your favorite web site right in your browser. Later, when you visit sites that you’ve previously highlighted, those highlights are still there so you can quickly find the info that interested you – without having to re-read the whole page again.
When you highlight something on a web page, you can add a “sticky note” and comment on that specific section. If other people have highlighted and added sticky notes to a sections on that page you can see those too.
Note: When you add comments about a web page, or sticky notes to a section of highlighted text, you have the option to make those “public” or “private”. Private comments and notes can only be seen by you. Public ones can be viewed by the entire Diigo community.
How does all this work? (Here’s the catch.) To see the highlights and sticky notes you need to install a Diigo toolbar to your browser. Without the toolbar installed, you can still see the comments and highlighted text when you look at your bookmark page, but they will not be visible when you view the actual web page. I can still access my bookmarks from any computer, I just need to be using my own computer, or any computer with the Diigo toolbar installed, to see my highlights and sticky notes.
I know it sounds complicated, but Diigo has some great tutorials that demonstrate all these features (and a few more).
Click here to see my Diigo bookmarks.