Diigo…why it doesn’t work

I started a new job recently and we have to test an upgrade to the Moodle learning management system. I thought I would use some of my newly found skills from the NGL course and suggest that the team use Diigo to highlight and annotate the help pages that we have to change as part of the update. This is when I discovered that the highlighting and note taking on webpages does not ‘stick’.

David suggested a number of times on our course blog that we look at webpages stored in Diigo to see his annotations:

Note: Be sure to have Diigo available in your browser, I’ve annotated the page with a few comments related to the course. If you’re a member of the NGL Diigo group, you should be able to see those annotations. (David Jones, Week 9)

I have been wondering why I have never seen his or other students’ annotations or my own when I have (re)visited those webpages. This is probably the main reason why I have found Diigo so useless. The answer is that the free version does not provide users with this functionality. I expect that David does subscribe to Diigo and therefore does see the annotations when he returns to a webpage.

The Brain

I like the idea of it being able to come back to annotations of webpages but what I really need is a place that stores it all the information and the connections between all this information. This is when I came across something called TheBrain that can include every thought that comes up and visualise connections and relationships. I have just downloaded the app and will experiment with it during the free trail (1 month). I was greatly inspired by the following video that in many ways highlights how networked learning works 😉

6 thoughts on “Diigo…why it doesn’t work

  1. Actually, I don’t think that’s the answer. If you want to annotate PDF files, you need to subscribe. On the table you link to, the first row is Number of Bookmarks/Notes. Notes are the standard annotations on web pages that I try to promote (poorly).

    The Study Schedule page on the NETGL site does appear to have an annotation that a member of the NetGL Diigo group should be able to see. The text “Feel free to use Diigo” should be highlighted and have a note. Here is the entry on Diigo that shows that the Study Schedule page has notes.

    If you can’t see the annotations, then I suspect (but can’t be sure) that there’s something not quite right with Diigo setup/use. Maybe this will help, try it and let me know. Also, might be helpful to know which OS/Browser you are using and which of the Diigo tools you installed in your browser.

    Go to the Study Schedule page.

    Can you see somewhere on your browser the Diigo icon (blue square with a white, stylised D). This should appear in a toolbar or the bookmarks bar.

    Click on the Diigo icon.

    What happens?


  2. Hi David, unfortunately I cannot see Diigo annotations on the pages you list above. I can see it in the Diigo group listing but not on the webpage. I have Diigo extension for Chrome installed and am using Chrome. I can see the little D and have successfully highlighted pages and added notes. When I revisited the pages, my highlights and notes are gone and I never see yours or others notes except when I go to Diigo directly as you pointed out above. I don’t know what is wrong but it is very frustrating. I thought it might have to do with the free account not allowing cached pages??


    1. Brigitte, I’ve moved to Chrome and may have identified at least one possible explanation. Try the following steps (click on the links to see screenshots of what I see) and let me know.

      The problem appears to be that annotations don’t show up in Chrome with the Diigo extension until you click on the annotate link in the Diigo extension.

      Here’s a screenshot of what I see with Diigo on my Chrome browser. The Diigo logo has a red bookmark on it showing that this page does appear in my Diigo bookmarks. But now annotation.

      In this screenshot I’ve clicked on the Diigo logo and am about to click on the Annotate “button”. Apparently, this opens up the annotation bar.

      This screenshot shows the result. There is an annotation bar, and there are also some annotations, including some comments that are shared to the NGL Diigo group.

      Does that work on your version of Chrome?


      1. Hi David, I do have the Diigo icon on my Chrome toolbar but without red thingie when I go to the page. The annotation bar appears so that I can make annotations but whenever I return to a page the annotations are gone. I have wasted too much time on this tool and would not recommend it to anyone. As Natalie said, it is just not intuitive.
        Thanks for trying to help though. Cheers, Brigitte


  3. I can see why and how Diigo would be useful; I just haven’t been able to work out how to annotate. It doesn’t appear to be a very intuitive tool. I think if a tool is good, you should be able to just pick it without too much hassle. I’m also not a big fan of the display. It is a little dated- don’t you think?


    1. The “annotate” problem might be addressed by my next response to Brigitte’s comment. Natalie, what browser do you use? Which Diigo extension? Same as Brigitte?

      As for the look, as it happens Diigo are currently trialing a new look and feel that is more contemporary. I only became aware of that when originally trying to debug Brigitte’s problem.

      Not sure how widespread the preview is at the moment, so I took a screenshot


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