Most web workers use some sort of online bookmarking service. We recognize that our brains can only hold so much information, and it’s useful to have our pointers available no matter where we happen to be. But how do you decide which service to use? With its version 3 relaunch, Diigo has an answer to that question: they’ve piled on the features to become the most comprehensive bookmarking site around. Whether you’ll use all of those features is another question, but their combination is at least worth a look.
For starters, of course, you can save bookmarks. This can be done from a toolbar (I tested in Firefox; versions for IE and Flock are also available), from a bookmarklet, or by right-clicking in a page (as long as you have the toolbar installed). You can add a description and any number of tags, and flag bookmarks as being private or unread when you send them over.
While you’re on a page, the toolbar offers a couple of other options. You can add highlighting to any part of a web page, or add public or private comments; these changes and annotations are visible any time you visit the original page, so long as you keep the Diigo add-in. There are other products offering these functions, of course, but it’s nice to have them all together in one place. You can also email the page to friends, on or off of Diigo; the emailed link brings up the page together with any highlighting or comments you’ve added.
Notice that I mentioned friends on Diigo? With the relaunch, the site has fairly substantial social networking features. This includes much more detailed user profiles, the ability to identify users as friends (and several search tool to find them, including one that looks for bookmarks that resemble your own), messaging and (public and private) communities where groups of users can combine to leave shared bookmarks. You’ll even find a comment wall on profiles. These features enable both group collaboration and socialization.
Other Diigo features include messaging, lists (ordered groups of bookmarks), the ability to turn bookmarks into slideshows, tagrolls and linkrolls, a Firefox sidebar, a Facebook application, and blog integration – and that’s hardly an exhaustive list. A few things are not working, justifying the “beta” flag that the site is currently wearing – for example, Del.icio.us import is down as I write this. But overall this is an impressive relaunch. The only real negative is that, with the number of things they’ve crammed into the site, it can be a problem to find the functionality you’re looking for, or to fully utilize everything. But that’s a better problem than feeling constrained by a lack of features.