Annotating the Web with Diigo on the iPad

Marginalia in Old BookWhen Yahoo announced the sunsetting of Delicious (which has since been indefinitely deferred), one of the social bookmarking tools I explored as an alternative was Diigo. I ultimately decided Diigo was too feature-rich for quick-and-easy, down-and-dirty bookmarking. But I have discovered another use for Diigo: annotating websites on the iPad.

As far as I know, Diigo offers the only means to highlight passages and add annotations to websites from within the iPad’s native Safari browser. Diigo does this through the Web Highlighter bookmarklet, which opens up a toolbar that looks like this:

Diigo Web Highlighter for the iPad

The Highlight and Sticky Note buttons perform exactly as you would expect. Select some text within Safari as if you were going to copy it, and then click Highlight. Several things will happen:

  1. Your passage is highlighted;
  2. A bookmark to the page is automatically added to your Diigo account;
  3. The highlighted text appears underneath the page’s bookmark in Diigo; and
  4. The highlighting will be visible on the original page whenever you view it in any browser that has the Diigo toolbar or Diigolet bookmarket installed.

Likewise, clicking the Sticky Note button lets you leave a stick-it type annotation to any web page (which, again, will appear within your Diigo account as well):

Diigo Web Highlighter Sticky Note

The main drawback to the Web Highlighter tool is its initial installation. As is the case with any Javascript bookmarklet on the iPad, there are several steps involved, though the instructions Diigo provides are easy enough to follow.

What would you use the Diigo iPad tool for?

I’ve been using the Diigo iPad Web Highlighter for several several months now, and it’s been especially helpful for conducting research on the go—at coffeeshops, airports, or conferences. I can imagine using it for teaching as well (not just the iPad tool, but Diigo more generally). What about you? Have you used the Diigo bookmarklet on your iPad? Do you have another way to highlight or annotate web pages on your iPad or mobile device? How might you use this for your research or teaching?

[Marginalia photograph courtesy of Flickr user romana klee / Creative Commons License]

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