May 29, 2020

Blogs and Diigo

This post may or may not be of interest: I want to say a few words about how I use Diigo as a way to manage blog content and workflow. Blog labels (tags, categories) are useful up to a point, but if you want to have even more powerful ways to keep track of the contents of a blog, especially if you are using the blog to manage hundreds or thousands of pieces of content, Diigo is a fantastic option. When I am doing major content development at a blog, I bookmark every post in Diigo and use Diigo to manage the content development and editorial workflow.

What is Diigo?

Diigo is a bookmarking tool that allows you to bookmark webpages (and, yes, blog posts are webpages!), while adding tags that you can then use for searching and filtering. You can also include chunks of text with each bookmark, either text that is automatically copied from the blog (what you have highlighted when you bookmark goes into the record) or content you add later. You can also snag thumbnail images to go with the bookmarks.

To see how that works, you can browse the Diigo account I currently use for content development. These are my 100-word stories, for example. For the 100-word story project, it's really ideal; I include the actual story in the bookmark!

Each of those items in Diigo links a blog post. I use labels at the blog itself for basic navigation, but I have a much more elaborate set of tags at Diigo that allow me to manage the book production process that I am using to select blog posts, edit them, and then arrange them into OER books. (That's a new project this summer; I am hoping to complete four microbooks: each one will have 200 of these 100-word stories).

Diigo Features 

Diigo has a ton of features; I'll just list here some features that are of great value to me personally:

Boolean Searches. I'm able to use Boolean operators like NOT in order to search and organize my content. That's the single biggest advantage over the blogging label interface. Diigo is so powerful that way, and I can even bookmark those searches since the search parameters are in the URL. For example, a bookmark for the India stories that are going in the India book (versus stories I am skipping and saving for future use):

RSS. Diigo has RSS for tags AND for Boolean tag searches, and it even includes the thumbnail image in the RSS. More about Diigo RSS:
RSS: Diigo

Reports. I use the Report feature to snag content to use in my book drafting process for the 100-word stories. It works great! Here's what a typical report looks like; I copy-and-paste into my text editor: I just search, choose bulk-edit, then select-all, and then generate report:

Browser Tool. When I am bookmarking blog posts in Diigo, I use the browser tool to make that really fast. (I label the blog posts as Diigo:no or something like that; then, after I bookmark in Diigo, I change the blog label to Diigo:yes; that way I know what I've got where, and I can do a count of the posts to make sure I haven't lost anything in the process.) I'm usually using the Chrome tool, and there's a cross-browser bookmarklet here, plus mobile apps: Diigo Tools.

There's so much more I could say here, but I'll leave it at that for now. If people have questions about using Diigo to manage blog-based content projects, let me know and I'll be glad to elaborate in more detail. I've been using Diigo for a few years now, and I like it more and more with each project I complete.

And now........... on to blog networking with RSS and Inoreader: What is RSS and what is Inoreader?