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 ser­viceessen­tial­ly 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.

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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