A number of educators have been trying out Diigo’s new features (Vicki Davis and Brenda Muench, for example). There’s a lengthy discussion on a number of topics. One question came up earlier in the discussion that I want to explore a little deeper: if you’re introducing social bookmarking to complete beginniners, would Diigo or Delicious be a better choice?In the conversation, Liz Davis asked:
I’m wondering if Diigo is too much for the newbie. Delicious is so simple and obviously useful. I’m afraid Diigo would scare some people away. I’m still inclined to start with delicious and save Diigo for my more advanced users (of which I have very few).
I’m kind of torn on this myself. I had a good chat with my mom a few weeks ago about social bookmarking. She’s a substitute teacher, and could immediately see the benefit of having a list of links that she could access from any school. She could have her emergency backup activities for teachers who don’t leave lesson plans for the sub and easily get them from anywhere. She also totally “got” tagging and why it was useful (I explained it as multiple keywords instead of putting something in a single folder and having to remember where you put it).
Beyond having a list and tagging her bookmarks, I doubt she’d use any other features, at least not initially. Which service do you think has the lower barrier to entry, especially for someone who isn’t super-technical?
This is just a quick list with ideas from the discussion and my own thoughts.
Pros for Delicious:
- It’s basic, and there aren’t so many other features that she won’t use to ignore.
- Because it’s more basic, it might be less intimidating.
- There’s plenty of existing training and tutorials out there, including a Common Craft video.
- You could start with delicious and then move to Diigo later if you want more power.
Pros for Diigo
- It’s prettier than delicious, and “pretty is a feature.” In some respects, I feel like the more attractive interface might actually be less intimidating, even with many more features.
- You can ignore all the other features available. As Maggie Tsai has explained, it’s OK to be anti-social on Diigo.
- Easy to email links–a nice feature using a familiar old technology for beginners.
- You wouldn’t have to migrate to another system if you want to do more over time. I think migrating and learning “one more new tool” is a barrier for a lot of people.
- There’s forums and discussion areas for support from other users.
So what do you think? What’s the easiest tool for my mom and other beginners to start with? Why?
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