Social Bookmarking - Delicious vs. Diigo

By ranfanranfan (1259892418|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

In this blog, I will first explain a bit what social bookmarking is, it's pros and cons, then compare two popular social bookmarking sites: Delicious and Diigo.

What is Social Bookmarking?

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren't shared, merely bookmarks that reference them.

Descriptions may be added to these bookmarks in the form of meta-data, so that other users may understand the content of the resource without first needing to download it for themselves. This could be in the form of a comment, a vote, or tags.

Folksonomy = social tagging, "the process by which many users add metadata in the form of keywords to shared content".

In a social bookmarking system, users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks are usually public, and can be saved privately, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. The bookmarks can be viewed in time order, by its category, tags, or through search.

Most social bookmark services encourage users to organize their bookmarks with informal tags instead of the traditional browser-based system of folders, although some services feature categories/folders or a combination of folders and tags. They also enable viewing bookmarks associated with a chosen tag, and include information about the number of users who have bookmarked them. Some social bookmarking services also draw inferences from the relationship of tags to create clusters of tags or bookmarks.
Many social bookmarking services provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags. This allows subscribers to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users.

As these services have matured and grown more popular, they have added extra features such as ratings and comments on bookmarks, the ability to import and export bookmarks from browsers, emailing of bookmarks, web annotation, and groups or other social network features

Benefits over Traditional Bookmarking

  • The human touch - people understand the context/content of the source better than a search engine who tries to use math to determining its meaning.
  • Time saver - we learned about the Deep Web in class, so we know that there is a ton of hidden information out there. People can find and bookmark pages not indexed by web spiders.
  • Ranking - A social bookmarking system can rank source based on how many other people thought it was important. This is a useful measuring tool.
  • Organization - it is an easy way to organize thousands of bookmarks and accessible from any computer.

Negative Side of Social Bookmarking

  • No standardized system:there is no clear structure for tags. I may find a great site for Apple Pie Recipe and tag it as "food" "pie" while you may tag it as "applepie".
  • Human error: while the human touch is great, it makes mistakes. Often, tags can be misspelled, have multiple meanings, or just unclear.
  • Time waster - yes, it seems a bit unconventional for me to call it both a save timer and save waster, but a social bookmarking site does take up a lot of my time. I start browsing all these great sites, then jump to see what other people with similar taste as me have found elsewhere, then go to those… agree with their taste, bookmark it… and repeat the cycle. I love new information, but I don't know when to stop. At least with just the web, I'll get tired of bad results from Google, but with a tool like the ones below, everything I find looks great to me.


Delicious (about, video tutorial, help, getting started, search)

I was introduced to Delicious in BIT200 to manage web bookmarks. It is easy to use mainly due to its easy accessibility from browser. Delicious, as a power social bookmarking service, of course allows me to tag, save, manage and share Web pages all in one place. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.

I'm not going to run through all the intricacies of the site, but I do want to give a general overview of how to use it.

Its homepage is fairly simple. it has three tabs: fresh bookmarks, popular bookmarks, and explore tags. Upon signing in, it shows me my bookmarks in listform with tags, my network (what the people in the network have tagged), subscription to tags, etc. Even when I'm exploring my own tags, links to "popular" and "recent" bookmarks are always tempting me to see what other people have just discovered and liked enough to save it. I can also see how many other people on Delicious have also saved the links that I've saved. Based on this list, I can then look at their tags (and all other features like network associated with my own page) and perhaps add to my network should I believe the person to be a good source of future information.


Diigo (about, video tour, tour, search, demo)

It has several features including the ones below. I would suggest viewing the demo to gain a better understanding of how to truly use Diigo.

  • bookmark
  • groups annotation
  • search
  • send to blog
  • diigolet
  • enhanced linkrolls

Right off the bat, the difference between Diigo and Delicious is clear. Diggo is MUCH more than just a simple "bookmark tool". It also lets you:

  • Add notes and in-page highlights
  • Store, Tag (categorize) and Share webpages (via email, RSS, blog, group, etc.) along with your notes and highlights
  • Create groups (i.e. private group for team members)
  • Subscribe to specific webpages’ notes (i.e. to all notes tagged as ‘funny’)
  • Right-click menu option to search for highlighted terms (on websites, on major search-engines, social bookmarking systems, blogs, etc.)

It is suitable for collaboration and Diigo is actually advertised as a social bookmarking AND annotation service.

Diigo Bookmarking Service

While it is hard to displace oneself away from all the other wonderful features of Diigo, I will first compare ONLY the bookmarking service on Diigo then give my overall views / recommendations.

It is a very similar process to Delicious. You click the "Diigo" icon in your toolbar, add tags, and submit (you can also add comments about the page". These are all functions Delicious has. In Diigo, you can also simultaneous save this page to other services.

Diigo Annotation Services

Diigo's annotation services are used in conjunction with its bookmarking. Instead of merely bookmarking a site, you can also post sticky notes or comments anywhere on it. This is a useful feature because many people often forget why a site was important to them in the first place. A second useful function is highlighting texts on the page. For a very lengthy website, this will drastically save time because I only have to read through it once and highlight useful portions for the future.



In terms of JUST social bookmarking. The two tools are the same in HOW to bookmark. However, the ANNOTATION aspect of Diigo makes it a far superior tool because it actually distinguishes itself in a very important way from just the bookmarks in browser with its ability to let you highlight and make comments. This feature goes above and beyond just a few "tags" allowed in Delicious (also used in Diigo of course) to remind yourself of what was important or so great about that page.

To be fair, I felt Delicious was much more "social" in allowing me to browse the bookmarks that other people also subscribed to. Diigo if I went to networking site, I can see who else also bookmarked it. ( for instance surprisingly only had 73 other people bookmark it; just to compare, delicious had over 27,000 people bookmark it) From seeing who bookmarked it, I can then go to their individual profile and bookmarks. However, there are many subtle search features that I much prefer in Delicious, its interface makes the ability to browse for similar sites much easier. This feature also exists in Diigo, but is much less intuitive and ineffective. I wanted to find sites similar to Engadget so I clicked on the "technology" tag, which in Delicious, quickly yielded me a very expansive list of other bookmarks with this tag. But doing so in Diigo did nothing.

I would use Delicious to "browse" for other useful sites and participate in the more social aspect of bookmarking while I would use Diigo if I want to be more efficient in my bookmarking in terms of narrowing down the content I am actually saving.

More Information - Follow them on Twitter

Diigo Twitter
Delicious Twitter

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