Monday, November 1, 2010

Digital Opening

This is a social bookmarking site that allows users to bookmark websites with the capability of accessing them from any computer with an internet connection. It is similar to bookmarking on an individual computer; the difference is that when you bookmark on your computer, those sites can only be accessed from that particular computer. With Diigo, you can access your bookmarked sites from any computer, as they are stored on the Diigo website. Thus, if your personal computer breaks down, you do not lose all of your bookmarked webpages in the process. Diigo also has options for sharing such bookmarks with others, categorizing them based on multiple groupings, tagging bookmarks for easy access, and annotating or “sticky-noting” webpages.

To begin, you go to and create a free account. (There are additional features if you pay for a premium account, but I find the basic account to be all that you really need.)

Once you have created an account, it is time to download the Diigolet toolbar to help you create bookmarks. From the homepage, if you look at the top, right-hand corner, there is a hyperlink that says “Tools.” By clicking on this link, you are taken to a page that has a blue hyperlinked “diigolet” button. Click on this button and you are taken to another page. On this page, there are some brief instructions. What you end up doing is dragging the “diigolet” button up to your own internet toolbar. What this button on your toolbar does, is it allows you to bookmark any site that you may be visiting, without having to travel to the Diigo site first. For example, if I am reading an article online and decide that I want to bookmark it, all I need to do is click the “diigolet” button on my toolbar and a Diigo menu pops up, allowing me to create a bookmark, highlight, create a sticky note, or write a comment. Then, next time you log in to your Diigo account, the action has been saved there.

As mentioned above, there are other features to Diggo, aside from just bookmarking webpages. You can also highlight information, with such text automatically annotating your bookmark. (There are even multiple colors to highlight in, allowing you to separate information and color-code it.) You can create a sticky note, adding any notes or comments that you may wish to go back to at a later time.

The best way to access your bookmarked sites is to go to the “My Library” tab at the top left-hand of the screen. In your library, using the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, you can sort through your information, looking at bookmarks, notes, images, your tags, and any lists. I recommend tagging your bookmarked webpages with key words, for this allows you to easily access the information that you are looking for by searching for key words. For example, I might tag all of my e-mail webpage bookmarks with the tag “e-mail,” so that if I am trying to quickly access my e-mail sites, all I need to do is search for the tag “e-mail.”

Another great feature is the “list” feature. You are able to create separate lists to again help you categorize and organize information. I created a “Block A List,” that contains all of the different websites that have been reviewed during digital openings thus far. That way, if I want to get to the Block A websites that I remember hearing about, all I need to do is find my Block A list and the information is all right there.

In the end, you are able to choose whether or not to make your bookmarks private or public, and can send them to others via e-mail. There is also a comment feature, which would be useful if you had a class of students that you wanted to respond to one another’s bookmarks.

I would definitely recommend playing around with the site after you create an account, for that is what I found to be most helpful in understanding all of the different options and tools. I also must add that it is a pretty easy site to navigate, as I am very technologically-challenged, and I figured it out pretty quickly. 

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