Diigo, A Tool For Highlighting And Adding Sticky Notes To The Web, Gets A Facelift
Few people realize it, but the concept of annotating the web helped Google to its path to success. In a 2003 talk by Google Founder Larry Page, a note taker captured this quote (highlighted on a Diigo page, which demonstrates a key Diigo sharing feature):
“It wasn’t that we intended to build a search engine. We built a ranking system to deal with annotations. We wanted to annotate the web–build a system so that after you’d viewed a page you could click and see what smart comments other people had about it.”
The system they built was called PageRank, and Page said “only later did we realize that PageRank was much more useful for search than for annotation.”
The social bookmarking, web annotation and research tool Diigo is launching a redesign and refresh today. The site has 7 million registered users, but the boot-strapped company is seeking a path to profitability. The founder tells TechCrunch the simple fact Diigo is alive and kicking, while many players in the space have failed, reveals some important lessons.
Diigo (pronounced Dee’go) launched in 2005 as an online bookmarking site. It soon added the ability to annotate and collect the web by highlighting and adding sticky notes to webpages. At the time, TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington wrote that he liked Diigo but questioned how many of these sites “can make the cut”.
Eight years later, we have the answer. Not many. A survey by Hypothes.is shows that of 56 companies that tried to build annotation tools, most are either Defunct, Living Dead, or have Limited Use. The five that remain in wide…
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