Diigo is a social bookmarking site which goes live to the public today. I have been privately testing the service for a few days. Here are my thoughts...
First, let's define the term "social bookmarking." Social bookmarking is, essentially, shared lists of user-generated bookmarks or favorites. Typically, the bookmarks are organized using tags for categorization purposes. Notes can be added to help explain and opine on the bookmarks. The "social" element is where the fun starts. Discovering new sites and web resources that have been pre-screened and recommended by other users invariably leads to a treasure trove of quality links. Also, most tags and users pages can be subscribed to via RSS so you can stay up-to-date on the topics and people of interest.
With that out of the way, let's dive in to Diigo. Diigo is a competitor to del.icio.us, not the first social bookmarking service, but clearly the one that blazed a new path in the industry. Diigo sells itself as a del.icio.us-like service, albeit easier to use with more functionality and features. Diigo allows users to highlight web pages (its actually more of an underscore) and add "sticky notes" for reference later. The sticky notes feature is similar to the del.icio.us notes feature, but the highlight feature actually saves the highlighted portion of the page along with the link to your Diigo page. This is a cool feature that allows you to capture the portion of the page you're particularly interested in and save it to Diigo. As you can see from the image below, Diigo saves the tagged link but also saves the highlighted text from the page you bookmarked - very nice.
You can post to Diigo via a handy bookmarklet or a browser toolbar. I think the toolbar is a bit presumptuous considering the newness factor of Diigo but it is a quick and easy way to save links and pages as you surf the web. The bookmarklet worked fine for me, allowing me to post to Diigo without leaving the page I'm saving, and I would recommend it to anyone trying the service. You can also easily blog the links and bookmarks you find using the Diigo interface. I found this to be one of the most useful features of the site. Configuration took less than 2 minutes and posting to my blog via Diigo was easy and enjoyable - the exact opposite of the same experience using del.icio.us. I have been a del.icio.us fan for over 2 years and it amazes me that they still fail to have a simple "post to my blog" feature. Diigo does and they've done a great job with it.
Another great Diigo feature is the myriad of actions you can take from their drop-down menu within the site, allowing users to mark links as private, read/undread, etc. This is a very convenient service that could save users a lot of time when working with their Diigo bookmarks.
Small business owners not already using a social bookmarking service (which means most small business owners) should give Diigo a try. The company has spent the time developing quality, easy-to-use features, a clear and pleasing interface and what appears to be a compelling offering. It may not send folks streaming for the exits at del.icio.us, but it should be a top-contender in the social bookmarking niche, opening up this web phenomenon to scores of new users.
*Now, if they could just get the "Import del.icio.us links" tool to work...!