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Diigo V5 takes another step forward

On 1 July 2010, Diigo rolled out version 5 of their bookmarking service, and again they've added some pretty useful features.

You can read all the gory details at their blog, but there's two improvements in particular that are especially noteworthy.

The first is their continued work to refine usability.  Diigo has a very usable toolbar for your browser that you can configure to have as few or as many tools as you need.  To this they've really only added one new item, which I'll write about below.  Still, the toolbar is fast and easy - just what one wants to bookmark things without getting distracted.

Also on the usability front, Diigo has refined its website interface, cleaning it up even further.  I've written before about the relative clumsiness of Diigo's interface compared to what I think is the world leader in page layout - Delicious.  With V5, Diigo pretty much pulls up even with Delicious.  The sidebar has moved from the right side to the left, and has been cleaned up even further: the sidebar is basically for tags and finding things - they've moved all the other functions, which would typically be used far less often, down to the footer.

The second major improvement in V5 is the ability to clip portions of pages (as images) and store them in your Diigo library.  Not only that, but you can annotate the image with shapes, arrows, and text.  I would have preferred they actually captured the page content in HTML/XML, but I can see that images are still easier to deal with.

This clipping feature can very useful because if you just save a link to a page - and the page changes over time - you may forget exactly why you'd bookmarked it.  Now you can clip the particular spot that interests you, and refresh your memory about it with annotations.  The new functionality seems to work well, and is as easy to use as the rest of Diigo.

Since I'd've rather had clippings of content and not just snapshots, I'm giving this upgrade just 4 of 5 stars.  But still, Diigo V5 is a definite step forward and well worth looking into.

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