Don’t Dig Diigo

Diigo.com, the bookmarking service that this month suddenly gobbled up top-notch bookmarking service Furl (read about my search for Furl), offers a lot of features, but I can’t use most of them. I noted this recently on Twitter, which prompted an immediate reply from Diigo itself via Twitter. I provided an overview of my issues with the service–essentially Diigo won’t connect with any of my self-hosted WordPress blogs/CMSes, and some facet of its RSS feed prevents the popular TwitterFeed.com sharing service from access the content users create on Diigo.

Following that overview, on 22 March, Diigo asked via Twitter for my e-mail address so it could obtain more information. I sent my e-mail address, to which Diigo responded with: “U should be able to connect diigo to your self-hosted WordPress blog. witterfeed parsing, need more info. Pls email us.”

Below is the e-mail I just sent.

Dear, Diigo:

Thanks for the exchange on Twitter regarding my issues with Diigo. I’ll try to explain them better here.

1. I cannot connect Diigo to my self-hosted WordPress blogs (versions 2.5–2.7.1). I have tried using the Tools page (http://www.diigo.com/tools) Send to Blog and Auto Blog Post to add my blogs. I have also tried using the Diigo Toolbar’s similar functions to add my blogs. All attempts return an error 1503. I’ve researched the error in the Diigo user forums, but, like many others experiencing this problem, none of the solutions listed in the forums have resolved the issue.

You’re welcome to try for yourself. Here are a few of the blogs I’ve tried without success to connect to: http://iampariah.com, http://Designorati.com, http://QuarkVSInDesign.com

2. I use online bookmarking services like Diigo to share interesting content I find with my social network and blog and RSS feed followers. TwitterFeed.com is my intermediary to accomplish this. I bookmark a site, TwitterFeed.com pulls that bookmark from my user links RSS feed, and rebroadcasts it to Ping.fm, which, in turn, sends the link to my Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Plurk, and other social media accounts as well as distributing it through my blog (iampariah.com) to blog readers and RSS subscribers.

Formerly I used Furl for this purpose, and it worked beautifully.

I would love to use Diigo for this purpose, but I can’t; TwitterFeed can’t parse the Diigo user links RSS feed. Consequently I’m searching for a Diigo alternative whose RSS feed will parse. As a stopgap measure in the meantime I’m using the Diigo bookmarklet to quickly bookmark URLs, but that’s where my use of Diigo ends; none of those URLs are shared from Diigo. Instead, I have Diigo’s Save Elsewhere feature saving the same links to Del.icio.us, and it’s from there that I share links automatically through TwitterFeed.com.

3. My third issue, as I noted previously, is not as much a technical issue as a matter of lack of user-friendly features with Diigo. Furl’s bookmarking interface presented a list of commonly used tags/categories—generic tags at first, but it grew to adapt to the user’s previous tag selections. Adding and removing tags from a bookmark was an incredibly simple matter of clicking on them in the AJAX-powered tag box. Additionally, Furl’s UI also included a live count of the number of bookmarks belonging to each tag.

Diigo’s system of tagging bookmarks, by contrast, is the typical Delicious model—type it yourself, and, oh, by the way, we SPACE-separated tags/categories, not COMMA-separated, so you have to remember to enclose common tags like “Web Design,” “Social Media,” and “Web 2.0” in quotes or we’ll list them as “Web,” “Design,” “Social,” “Media,” “Web,” and “2.0.”

That taxonomy assignment methodology discourages busy users from bothering with tagging, which reduces the overall value and utility of the Diigo bookmark database as a source of information and social interaction.

As I noted on Twitter, I’m quite excited about the possibilities of many of the features offered by Diigo, but, alas, they remain untapped possibilities. I can’t use the features that are most interesting to me—blog integration and the ability to reuse my content through RSS feeds from Diigo. Your Diigo Toolbar in particular, which I’ve had installed but hidden for more than 6 months, is tantalizing but useless. Unfortunately, so is Diigo as a whole because of the so-far insurmountable technical obstacles of connecting Diigo with any external Website or outside technology.

If there’s something I haven’t tried, please let me know. I’ll be happy to try it. I’ve been a professional software troubleshooter for years, and would be happy to help you work the third-party side of these issues to get to the bottom of them.

Regards,
Pariah S. Burke

Once the service matures and the bugs are worked out of its ambitious feature hopes, Diigo will almost certainly be one of the best bookmarking, link sharing, and collaboration services around.

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