A delicious replacement: Diigo

I’ve been using Diigo since last week’s news that Yahoo was threatening to “sunset” Delicious. After several days use, I’ve found Diigo to be a worthy replacement for Delicious. In some ways, Diigo is what Delicious should have become if Yahoo had not let Delicious languish. On the other hand, there are still a few gaps in Diigo’s features.

I know that others are looking for a Delicious replacement. To help you in that process, I’d like to offer my early impressions of Diigo.

Diigo Strengths

Browser extensions: Diigo offers a set of easy to install browser extensions. I’ve installed the Firefox toolbar and I’m using it regularly to tag content and highlight passages of particular interest. It’s simple to install, easy to use. It’s quickly become a must have tool.

Read later: Diigo incorporates a read later button in its Firefox toolbar. This feature emulates the core function that attracted me to Instapaper, the wildly successful iPad app. With a simple click on the Read Later toolbar button, I can save an item directly into Diigo to review and tag when I have the time to pay attention to it. A real time saving feature that streamlines my workflow and reduces the number of applications I need to use (Sorry, Instapaper.)

Highlight: Diigo enables me to highlight passages within a post. When I later call up the Diigo bookmark, I can see those passages still highlighted, enabling me to quickly find the most important content even in the longest posts.

Publishing to my blog: Diigo has a feature that enables me to publish links I have saved along with my annotations directly to my Pro PR blog – one at a time or in batches on a daily or weekly basis. This feature can be set to publish automatically or create a draft post. I’ve set my preferences to create a daily draft post. Already, I’ve used it to generate an idea for yesterday’s post, You can’t put the Delicious Genie back in the bottle. Diigo automatically provided me with a draft post containing links to posts I’d tagged about Yahoo’s leaked intention to sunset delicious. I chose a couple of those and wrote a post about my own feelings about what had happened to Delicious.

Sharing: Diigo enables me to share links with one click to twitter, Facebook and via e-mail. An absolute essential for any social bookmarking tool.

Cross post to Delicious: This may be the most important feature for me. Diigo enables me to save and tag content to to Delicious with the same click that saves and tags that content into Diigo itself. This feature is enabled with a simple one step set up, following which it works automatically whenever you save content. Why is this important to me? Because I still hope that something can be done to save and revitalize Delicious. So it always gives me a way to go home.

Diigo Weaknesses

Browser extensions: While I love the Diigo toolbar for Firefox, the Google extension seems like a dumbed down version. It lacks some functionality, including the ability to mark text to read later. I hope that Diigo soon will upgrade the Google extension to offer all the same features found on the Firefox toolbar.

Sharing and discovery: This is one area where nothing equals Delicious. Delicious was designed for social tagging, for ease of sharing. It enabled me to easily see who else had tagged an item that interested me and to search other tags by those users. Diigo feels more like Evernote, a program that was designed first as a place to store content for personal use. Hopefully, the wave of former delicious users who now have arrived at Diigo will give its developers reason to make the social aspects of taking more central to Diigo’s architecture.

Find me on Diigo

If you’re interested in how I’m using Diigo now, I am thornley on Diigo.

Do you agree?

What do you think? Have I missed something here? Is your experience with Diigo or any other delicious replacement different from mine?

You can't put the Delicious Genie back in the bottle

This was the week that delicious died. For me and for many others.

Delicious was one of the very first social services that I discovered when I became interested in blogging. It was a true¬† pioneer. Delicious was my first working experience of social software that realized the full potential of folksonomy.¬† The genius of delicious was the introduction of the concept that I could attach as many tags to an item as I wanted, ensuring that I could recover that item at a later time by typing in a keyword that was meaningful to me in the context in which I thought of that item. which I found infinitely superior to traditional rigid taxonomies. (If you’re new to the concept, David Weinberger‘s Everything is Miscellaneous provides a great introduction to the opportunity that digitized data provides for us to organize information in ways that is meaningful to ourselves and the people with whom we have a community of interest.) Add to this the ability to share these tags with friends and co-workers and you had a tool that was unlike anything that had come before and instantly useful.

In many ways delicious is my online memory. I use it daily. I bookmark items for future reference in blog posts, in presentations, and when trying to make sense of the world.

When I saw the news of its impending demise, I realized that I couldn’t lose the data I’d collected in Delicious. So I looked for an alternative.

I wasn’t alone. Twitter and the blogosphere were full of messages about delicious alternatives. If the sheer volume of discussion is any indicator, delicious lost a huge number of users when the news of its impending demise spread.

Yahoo tried to put the genie back in the bottle with a post saying that the memo had been misinterpreted and that indeed Yahoo would find a new owner for delicious instead of shutting it down.

Sadly, I think the damage had already been done and loyal delicious users like myself discovered an alternative that actually offered many better features over a much loved service that Yahoo had allowed to languish and become a laggard instead of an innovator.

I’ve moved on, ported my Delicious tags into a new service, Diigo, and discovered I like it better. (More on Diigo tomorrow.)