Should Diigo Retain Social Aspects?



When Diigo was released ten years ago, our goal was to provide a social bookmarking/annotation service which would serve our users in two ways:

  • To provide the best online bookmarking/annotation tool assisting our users’ reading and research online.
  • The second is to leverage our users’ collections to create a social knowledge network to provide insight on what their friends and people with similar interests are reading.

Fast-forward to present day, Diigo has accomplished the first goal reasonably well, and through continuous improvement, we have maintained our leadership as the most popular and feature rich online bookmarking/annotation service in the world. Our goal to become a social knowledge network however has clearly been eclipsed by social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Quora.    

Therefore, ten years later, we are at a major crossroad with a huge decision to make.  Should we forgo our aspiration to be a social knowledge network, and remove all social features?

As our social functions are some of the least used portions in Diigo, yet require constant maintenance, this would allow us to focus on providing the best personal online annotation/research platform for our users.  

As always, we would love to hear from you, our cherished users, and take your input into consideration.  If you do use some of Diigo’s social features, let us know which specific ones you would like to keep or see enhanced.

70 thoughts on “Should Diigo Retain Social Aspects?

  1. I have to say: mostly yes. As long as you keep the ability to share public links to my tags with my notes, I don’t need any other social features. I currently use the “recent bookmarks” feed, but I could live without it if I had to.

    I stopped using Diigo’s social commenting years ago, and most of my “sharing” happens through services like Buffer now (they let me post a link with some comments to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I even post to some social networks that I don’t really use.

    I still love being able to share the link to a tag so I can share a bunch of related bookmarks with people — but I use diigo mostly because it gives me cross-browser, cross-platform bookmarks that I can consult even on someone else’s computer, so that’s the core feature for me.

  2. I’d be happy for you downscale the social elements, which I never use – except for sharing links, which is useful.

  3. My use of Diigo has dropped off considerably over the last year for two reasons.

    1. Diigo’s increasing emphasis on the social aspects of knowledge management (& the diversion of resources to that development). I understand why as there is a strong move towards collaboration in academic research, but it is not why I chose Diigo in the first place.

    2. Staying with a closed, proprietary system & not moving to the adoption of open standards.

    Unfortunately, no one system meets my needs for bookmarking, reference & citation management, and annotation – currently it’s a mix of Zotero, Paperpile,

    Thanks for this opportunity to provide input on your future plans, I applaud this open approach.

  4. I agree with the others here. Apart from making private/public bookmarks and sharing, I’ve never used any social feature, as I don’t really feel the need for that.

  5. I think the ability to share links on Twitter and other services is still important. Although Diigo won’t be a primary social network like Facebook, Diigo has a role in supplementing the conversations on Twitter. So much of the traffic on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. is sharing links with other people. I like how Feedly makes it easy for me to share with those other services, and that’s what I’d like to see Diigo do for social integration.

    In some respects, I see Diigo as filling a similar niche as Pinterest, except with much better tagging, search, etc. Look at what Pinterest has for social features–mostly just following other people. Yes, you can maybe favorite or comment on your friends links, but there is no pretense of lengthy conversation there.

    I regularly give people links to the page of my bookmarks with a specific tag. I have used outliners a little, but for the most part tagging gives me the functionality I need.

    I have always used the automatic blog post feature and will continue to use it as long as it’s available, although I know that may be less popular.

    I think you could drop the groups and the discussion board features (which I have barely used in all my years). I just took a quick look, and I haven’t visited most of my groups since 2009. If you made it easier for people to share links to Facebook, including to closed Facebook groups, or to other services, users could have their groups elsewhere but still use Diigo to feed into those groups. Again, I think Diigo has a role to play there as an adjunct to other social networks.

  6. I personally never use the social features and that is not the reason why I downloaded Diigo. I think you should focus on bookmarking and annotation and keep improving in these areas. As far a social features go, there are much more powerful tools out there. I love Diigo but I consider it more as a personal notebook / library than a place for social interactions.

  7. I would prefer to see developments to improve the basic bookmark service. I recently went through a long process of trying several bookmarking services out and found that diigo was the one that came closest to my ideal service. Basically, I just want a place to store, organise, and contextualise articles of interest. It sounds simple, but I don’t think any service has really nailed it yet (though diigo comes close) The Outliners feature is interesting too (though I haven’t spent much time with it yet) but I love the concept of saving the most interesting links found when researching a topic, then compiling a quick summary of what you’ve found to refer back to at a later date.

    Re: social features – I can see the appeal of it, but it sounds like a complex thing to get right. My gut feeling (with very limited knowledge of your company / plans) is that you should focus on doing one thing (personal bookmarking) really well.

    On a side-note: Losing the IFTTT integration is a bit of a blow for me. I read most articles in Pocket, and have an IFTTT script which saves any that I star into Diigo. It’s simple and works beautifully. Shame to lose that.

    Lastly, props on your software. It’s good and works well. Thanks!

  8. I don’t use social features in Diigo myself, but there is a feature you could call “social” available in Delicious that I miss tremendously: the abitilty of seeing those who bookmarked the same page I bookmarked.I discovered wonderful resources and people this way

  9. @jaykul took the words out of my mouth. The only “social” feature I need/want out of a bookmarking tool is the public/private toggle. If you wanted to look at ways to work better with social networks (better integration for sharing links, or saving links that have been shared with), that could work because it’d be highlighting the strengths of all the parties involved: them for social, y’all for saving, and us for making the connections among people and ideas.

  10. Could you provide us with a list of what you consider “social features” – this would be really helpful in providing useful feedback.

  11. “Social features” is not a very precise expression. What do you mean?

    You could find the following views a bit rude, sorry, but be sure I like Diigo. I’m just desappointed, for years, because of the missing or badly implemented features and UI.

    I don’t use “share in group” feature because of it’s implementation… not because I’m not interested in! This feature would be great, for me and for all the companies I work for/with as a trainer and consultant.

    There’s a uge need of private and public shares around me. But the name of your groups was not related to a user account so we couldn’t create a group wich already existed. The UI of Groups was deeply outdated and unintuitive (as the global UI of Diigo, btw).

    You abandoned the newsletters wich was a great tool (badly desgned).

    I never use it because it’s an unfinished feature that could be interesting (not crucial). Having th possibility to easily stracture memos with links like OneNote could be great!

    In their last newsletter, IFTTT didn’t mention Diigo anymore… as channel to be suppressed. That’s a great news (if you confirm).

    Of course that could be solutioned by better triggers and actions in the IFTTT channel, but having the possibility to automatically share our findings through Twitter and Facebook, a.s.o. could be a great idea… if you user Twitter and Facebbok Cards!

    And by the way, social media integration could be better findable if you build a better “Settings” page (and not this badly designed “Tools section”).

    For now, you’ve missed the curation wagon. Diigo coud be such a great curation tool (could be a pro plan feature), so strictly linked to ressource organization and sharing. You have here the ability to be better than (forget about the extraction features, wich are badly designed in and are certainly heavy ressource consumers).

    It’s terrible not to have a decent mobile app! A terrible amount of our ressource discovery is made through our mobile phones.

    One of the most terrible downfalls of Diigo is its incapacity of managing deadlinks, alerting users of deadlinks or redirected links, and offering ways to batch delete or changing links with the redirected one.

    Diigo could be also more appealing if you entered the recommandation business. Advanced recommandations of users to follow and resources to integer in our Library,

  12. I’d agree with most of other people. Except sharing public links to pages with my highlights and notes I don’t care too much about other social aspects. Concentrate please on your core functionality!

  13. I agree with removal of social features.
    I do love the private groups but it’s hard to get people to sign up. If you focused on making everything as sharable as possible (which you do a great job at now) I think you could poor fire on what’s working and stop “wasting resources” on what isn’t.

  14. Thanks for your input. Better integration to other social media networks is something we are considering. The idea would be for those platforms to take care most of the social aspects, while making sharing to those networks easier.

  15. Thanks for your feedback. It seems like Outliner would really nail the link organizational feature you are searching for.
    We are also working on IFTTT integration, and will hopefully be able keep our integration with them.

  16. Groups will be kept, although in a evovled form. Our services to educators will remain similar though.
    By ‘social’, we are targeting features such as the ‘discover’ portion of Diigo.

  17. Thanks for your input, we will keep popular features such as sharing your bookmarks. This change is mainly aimed at the ‘discover’ portion of Diigo.

  18. Thanks for your input, this is a feature we have considered and will put more thought into moving forward.

  19. Thanks for your feedback, ideally we would be able to strike a balance with the aspects you mention.

  20. The features to be phased out are still under consideration, although the ‘discover’ portion of Diigo is at the top of the list. We are definitely taking all our users’ input into consideration before we move forward.

  21. The ‘groups’ and teacher’s console will remain for educators, in an evolved form.

  22. Thanks for your detailed feedback. Groups will be evolving to a platform that will better serve the needs for organizationalsharing that you mention. We are mainly targeting the ‘discover’ portion of Diigo. Many of the other points you mentioned are areas we would like to improve, although we need to focus on a specific point to make sure the improvements are not in vain. We would like to improve our personal organization/annotation abilities as a priority.

  23. Well, I’ve never used the Discover functionality, I’m not sure I ever noticed it before. It is a somewhat neat idea, but if you guys axed it and someone thought it is worthwhile, I suppose they could probably write something using your API?

  24. Most used — in addition to bookmarking and annotation — converting tags to feeds and subscribing to then on InoReader. I also collect links on OneTab, save link bundles to Diigo and use annotation to highlight links

  25. I’ve never used the social features of Diigo – my usage is solely on bookmarking (and publicly sharing the bookmarks with non-members and members).

  26. I don’t know if this is “social” or even if it already exists in Diigo (I have looked) but the ability to get emailed updates to specific users’ updates, preferably down to the tag level would be a great addition.

  27. I am a huge Diigo Fan.You offer an outstanding product that I used on a daily basis. Minus the mishap with the Chrome app/Web Store a few months ago Diigo never disappoints. What I like best about Diigo would be the fact that all of my Diigo searches are done through Chrome’s omnibox using the the Diigo meta search engine shortcut. Makes it very easy to locate and access all of my bookmarks. I would not mind if you gave up on the social aspects and focused more on what Diigo does best – bookmarking and annotation. It would be nice if if you had an option to create groups and/or lists of links with the option to simply make them them public or not public. Providing RSS Feeds by Tag is also nice. I also use the teacher console so that is nice. Hoping that won’t go away entirely. Created my first Outliner last week and I am digging that option as well.

  28. I am not sure what the social aspects encompass exactly. My first thought were groups. I have a couple groups set up, but have found that if others do not already use Diigo as part of their personal information workflow, then the group was not used.

    I’m wondering if a public feed would fall under this category? If so, that seems like a useful feature to keep as well. Anything utilizing RSS functionality should be kept.

    My main reason for using the service is the PDF annotation. I have a lot to say about that, particularly in regards to its utility for researchers, students, educators, etc (actually have a post in draft version now that speaks to this topic…) There have been great improvements, and with a few tweaks it could be incredibly powerful, and put Diigo in a strong lead over similar platforms.

    I will continue to stay at the premium level specifically for the PDF annotation purpose. Thanks for all of your work on this product. It is something that I use everyday and is indispensable to both personal and professional efforts.

  29. Dump it. Focus on core functionality (personal database), user responsiveness, and be thoroughly multi-platform. Treat your original (Firefox)l users as important and don’t release mobile app (iOS) unless it’s improvement to the bookmarklet. I’ve try everything that comes out, and I only use the original toolset. I’ve been asking for backup for years. I even have an idea at the top of this (#3 mind you) list that you all asked for and have been met with 0 response:DESKTOP SYNC a la Evernote I love Diigo and use it every day.

  30. Yes. Social is not necessary. Please put more effort into your mobile app with a focus less on the browser and more on accessing already saved bookmarks in an easy to read format. Thanks!

  31. I have never used the Discover section at all, so if you could remove it and then have more resources to focus on the library, outliners, and groups that would be great.

  32. Thanks for asking – I generally agree with the comments here that the social features you’re talking about aren’t that useful to me, compared to having a great cloud bookmarking service that allows me easily to share links/groups of links with others.

    A better mobile experience would be great (mobile optimized browsing + a better app than you have now for saving and sharing links), plus better URL scheme, like delicious has, /username/tag+tag+tag , is easier to share without guessing than what you have. Also tighter integration with WordPress, via a good plugin/widget, as well as the most popular RSS readers, for bookmarking directly.

    Most of the sharing I do would be via email or social networks. I appreciate that you have a paid tier that keeps things clean and manageable. Delicious has chosen not to go that route, you can only get it with ads, including in your RSS feed, which makes you a much better option for professional use.

    Hope this helps + thanks for staying on IFTTT

  33. Although recently retired from teaching, as an educator, I love the social tools. I could curate links/sections that were content specific then share the URL to my students, Twitter…. I neve used web site/blog for resource bookmarks once I launched Diigo. Now I only use platform for managing my own URLs across my devices.

  34. Thanks for your feedback. We are keeping educator features, although in an evovled form. For creating a list of links you can easily share, I would recommmend Outliners for that purpose. Thanks again.

  35. Thanks for your feedback and support! RSS feeds is a function we are keeping. By social features, we are mainly targeting the ‘discover’ portion of Diigo.
    Our plans for the future includes a focus on PDF annotation, and expanding this features in a way similar to how you mention. Please check back for updates. Thanks again!

  36. Thanks for your input and support! We are working on improved mobile apps and improving our plugin on other platforms such as Firefox and Safari.
    However, as a small team, these projects take quite some development and resources, so extra features such as Evernote Desktop sync will receive further consideration at a later date. I will bring this function up with our team though. Thanks again for your input.

  37. Thanks for your input, mobile is one of the core directions we would like to focus our resources on.

  38. Thanks for your feedback. You bring up many features that would like to integrate at some point.
    Our main focus now is improving our mobile platforms and improving our annotation/organization functions. Better integration with other platforms is also on our list. Please check back for updates!

  39. Thanks for your input.
    By social features, we are mainly focusing on the ‘discover’ portion of Diigo. Features such as groups will still be around, in an evovled form, and we will try to improve the ability to send link to other social platforms. The goal is to allow other social platforms such as Twitter do the heavy lifting for social needs, and just improve our core aspects.

  40. All social features??!! No!! I use diigo in my online instruction. I use it professionally with groups and communities i lead. I use it personally to keep a library of both personal and professional links and groups. I LOVE the highlight feature and the ability to leave sticky notes and comments on pages. I use this feature in my online instruction. I use it to provide feedback to my students on their blogs and on resources they identify in my course. Diigo is required in my graduate level course ( Here is my first post on diigo in 2008 I love the groups and the ability to share links with groups. i like the ability to like links and comment and annotate links i create and those from others. I don’t use the topics feature much. I LOVE the ability to make link rolls and tag rolls. Is there a list of the features you are thinking of getting rid of??

  41. Thanks for your input, this is a function we are keeping and planning to improve on.

  42. Thanks for your input.
    While we do not have a set list of social features we are phasing out, the focus will be on the ‘discover’ section of Diigo. Functions such as groups for educators will still be around, in an evovled form, but will function similarly.Educators are very important users for Diigo, and we will try to improve the experience for our education users as much as possible. Removing certain social aspects will allow us to focus on Diigo for education, personal organization and annotation.
    Thanks again for your feedback and support.

  43. All I want is to safely and privately store all my bookmarks online, annotate them and search through them. Never used any of the social features, all bookmarks are set to private. Although I can imagine a scenario where I would want to share a certain categorie of bookmarks, say: all recipe sites.

  44. Thanks for your feedback.
    You bring up some good points that I will share with our team and take into consideration.

  45. Thanks for your feedback.
    Have your tried our ‘Outliner’ feature? Perhaps this a tool that could help your reference management needs. Please give it a try.

  46. Hi,

    I really love Diigo, I have upgraded mine to premium service. It has all features like outliners, screenshots, quick note taking.
    I would request to retain the integration of diigo with Instapaper, diigo with Youtube. Rest i don’t use.

    Also I would like to request some enhancements for the following.
    1) Kindle highlights to Diigo
    2) Some better enhancements to Outliners (when compared to workflowy/dynalist) I feel diigo’s outliners are very basic. For example tagging the outlines, organizing the outlines by folders, ability to export as OPML and ability to import from OPML or HTML files etc.

    Hope you will consider my request.

    Thank You..

  47. Hi,

    I really love Diigo, I have upgraded mine to premium service. It has all featureslike outliners, screen shots, quick note taking.
    I would request to retain the integration of diigo with Instapaper, diigo with Youtube. Rest i don’t use.

    Also I would like to request some enhancements for the following.
    1) Kindle highlights to Diigo
    2) Some better enhancements to Outliners (when compared to workflowy/dynalist) I feel diigo’s outliners are very basic. For example tagging the outlines, organizing the outlines by folders, ability to export as OPML and ability to import from OPML or HTML files etc.

    Hope you will consider my request.

    Thank You..

  48. 1. Diigo’s increasing emphasis on the social aspects of knowledge management (& the diversion of resources to that development). I understand why as there is a strong move towards collaboration in academic research, but it is not why I chose Diigo in the first place.

    2. Staying with a closed, proprietary system & not moving to the adoption of open standards.

  49. As far as I am concerned I can say that I have been using Diigo at the University for “social bookmarking” together with students and it would be a pity to lose functionalities as those which are allowed by groups. Moreover, we have also organized a MOOC on social networks where a section is dedicated to the usage of Diigo for social bookmarking in teaching and learning ( I hope you won’t give up those features who are, in our opinion, useful to share and build knowledge as part of the learning process.

  50. All I want is to safely and privately store all my bookmarks online, annotate them and search through them. Never used any of the social features, all bookmarks are set to private. Although I can imagine a scenario where I would want to share a certain categorie of bookmarks, say: all recipe sites.

  51. After using Delicious for 10 years, I just moved 5000 plus links over here (the old one’s are mostly dead now, but I like having the record). Diigo seems much more functional. Delicious had just gone to hell. I use it as a “public bookmark blog”, and rarely save things as private. Mostly I use it to save things that I may want to post to Facebook or use professionally, within the next 3 days or so.

    I don’t understand the Groups section. It seems pretty dead, and seems unlikely to become a place where Diigo would create active communities. So getting rid of that aspect of social seems unproblematic.

    Under Discover, Community >>> Hot Bookmarks from the Diigo Community, it is unclear what algorithm is at work here. I think what would add some “excitement” would be a live blog that highlighted each new link that the member community saved (with stats on how many people have saved it, perhaps), in near real time.

    (I suppose there might be porn problems, or the like… so maybe that wouldn’t work… maybe that’s why you only show stuff with multiple saves.)

    You would see people saving stuff all the time (I don’t know what the rate would be, but you probably do know.) It would show activity. It would be a way for people to watch as the community saves stuff. It would be new if you came back a few minutes later.

    Alternatively, I would like to be able to discover the public lists of other users. A simple ordered list of “most recently updated public libraries” would be great.

    Currently we see popular links, but we don’t see recent links (I presume… ). It would be good to offer an explanation of what the Hot Bookmarks blog is doing algorithmicly..

    I do like the ability to follow another user.. I got my wife to switch from Delicious too, and I follow her so I can see what she finds and saves.

    Post to Facebook and post to Twitter would be good features to have. There are other ways to do that of course. But what I’m doing with Diigo is reading my favorite sites, saving to Diigo, and for some of them copying from Diigo and posting to Facebook and Twitter. That’s my basic use case. So having the ability to post from Diigo would save a step. Is it essential? Probably not. But it might be nice.

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