Bookmarking, Part II

It might well be that my bookmarking story ended with the post from yesterday.  After all, Delicious is a great service and does what I need it to do and more.  When I started using it, I never dreamed that I would be posting things that I bookmark to my blog or that I would change my default search engine to be “Doug-Powered” rather than powered by some other service.  As I bookmark more and more resources, I find that these are maturing functions that change the way that I personally approach search in my own life.

So, I was quite happy until Diigo came along.  As I tend to do, when the service came along, I experimented with it.  In the early days, it appeared to be essentially a duplication of the Delicious experience.  I was bored one weekend and copied and pasted my way to a duplicate service.  The export/import services that we enjoy today were not around or I hadn’t noticed them.  But, it was the sort of mindless activity that goes along with watching television on a Sunday night and before long, I had a duplicate of my results.  There were some things about Diigo that intrigued me at the time and I could see real value for the future.

 

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The ability to bookmark is important, of course, but the ability to insert a sticky note and highlight parts of text that I know I may refer back to later was a real value that Diigo added to the process.  After a while, when you’re a persistent bookmarker, you do get a substantial collection and it’s nice to be able to look back and see just what was so important that you bookmarked it in the first place.

In the meantime though, there was something else that was happening on the Delicious side.  Either from reading my blog or by morbid curiosity, I had started to accumulate a number of followers in my bookmarking network.  If I pulled the plug, these folks would be disenfranchised.  I remember thinking “Oh well, I’ll just stick with Delicious then and not explore Diigo any further”.  But, I had another problem.  On the Diigo side, I had started to get followers there even though I wasn’t advertising that I had an account.  How?  But, it was another group of people to be concerned about.  What to do?  In my browser, Diigo had an extension that worked just like Delicious.  So, for about two days, I would bookmark on both sites.  Then, I decided that this was just stupid.  Make a choice, Doug.

But, after some poking around, I found a better answer.  In the Diigo settings, there was actually an option that would take anything that I bookmarked in Diigo and automatically post it to Delicious.  This is very appealing.  I like automation so gave it a shot.  It worked perfectly.  I could not change my routine.  Find a website – bookmark / highlight / sticky note it in Diigo – Diigo would post it to Delicious and then it appear on my blog.  I could use either service as a search engine in my browser.  I have the best of all worlds.

And that’s how my bookmarking process works today.  For a while, I had both the Delicious and Diigo extensions in my browsers.  If nothing else, it filled up some blank space.  There are some sites that don’t bookmark well with the default Diigo utility but there’s another sweet little tool called the Diigolet that handles things nicely.  Yet, there are still some websites (mainly based on Flash) that don’t work with either.  But, there’s a tool for that too!  The extension Shareaholic puts all of these resources together (and more) to a single button.

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Since installation, I haven’t found a resource that stumps me.  Plus I gain access to so many other resources in one pull down menu.  Life is good and bookmarking complete.

At least it was until the Diigo programming gods introduced the Teacher Console.  Here, from your resources, you could create groups for your students.  This added so much functionality that I had to incorporate that as well.  By public access or private invitation, an area can be set up to explore just the bookmarks that you want your class to use for a given topic.  Just bring them in and out as needed.  All seems to come together so nicely.

Despite all this, there is still much more functionality in both services including the ability to recommend resources for colleagues that I don’t often use.  If I was a fulltime researcher, I’m sure that I’d be all over them.  For this hacker, though, the bookmarking tools have complimented what I do online so nicely.

If you’re interested, my Diigo collection is online at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

It’s come so far since the CTRL-D days.

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