Delicious or Diigo?

A year or two ago, I decided that the bookmarking tools built in to my browser, Firefox, didn’t do enough for me. So I opted to start using Delicious. It kept all my bookmarks in one place, and I didn’t have to be on the same computer to use them. Plus, I could apply copious tags to my bookmarks. I have watched first plugins and then Firefox itself add this feature to the browser over the years.

Then I watched a video on YouTube by Michael Wesch. The video is awesome, but that’s beside the point here. In the video, I saw Wesch highlighting things online and annotating them. A free-frame of the video revealed to me that he was using the bookmarking service Diigo.

I tried out Diigo, found it lacking, and moved on. Then Delicious came out with its pretty, simple, elegant site redesign. I love it. But… I missed that ability to take detailed notes and highlight my saved pages. So recently I reinstalled Diigo’s Firefox plugin and have been using it religiously — though I have told Diigo to port all of my bookmarks into Delicious so that they’re mirrored at that site.

Here’s the deal. Diigo seems to offer all the features Delicious does and more, but I’m still unsure whether I want to move into using only Diigo. What do you all think? Do you use a social bookmarking site to store your reads? Which ones? Do you prefer Diigo to Delicious? Advice?

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Once more on the Twitter authority thing

This passage comes from Dan Gillmor’s “Principles for a New Media Literacy,” originally published as part of the Media Re:public project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. I think it unwittingly provides a great example of why “number of followers” is a poor gauge of authority on Twitter (and any social networking site).

We have come to learn that the tabloid’s front-page headline about Barack Obama’s alien love child via a Martian mate is almost certainly false, despite the fact that the publication sells millions of copies each week. We know that popularity in the traditional media world is not a proxy for quality.

Original here

Gillmor is spot on. The number of people who buy your magazine or click onto your Web site or add you on Twitter is not a measure of your authority or quality, in the print world or in the digital one.

In which the author summarizes the authority-based tweet debate and then finds something new to write about

Well, the issue of authority-based searching on Twitter is here to stay, even though Loic Le Meur, the guy who started all of this by asking for some sort of authority search feature on his blog, has amended his opinion. He points out now that “authority” was a poor word choice that resulted from the fact that he speaks French first and English second.

Given this amendment, I’d like to say that authority-based Twitter searching is nothing more than an academic exercise, debated by bloggers across the Web in their posts and in their comments on other people’s posts. But I cannot say that because at least two developers have come out with sites to search Twitter based on the number of followers that users have.

These two new sites are Twitority and Twithority. Twitority’s tagline says “Authority based twitter search,” and Twithority’s says “Twitter Search by — Authority.” Both of those sites are still sticking by the word authority, though I wonder how long that will last when the discussion hasn’t yet managed to come up with a solid definition of authority as it pertains to Twitter. (The comments in TechCrunch’s latest on the subject offers some good ideas, though.)

Of course, not everybody cares about Twitter and any authority its users might derive from their status as Twitter users. On TechCrunch’s , commenter Scott C. writes:

Because “twittering” makes NO SENSE. It’s somewhere between a text message, an instant message and an email…and there’s just no reason to have it. It’s sortof like “micro blogging” via Tumblr. You either write nothing or something. Anything inbetween is ultimately a waste of time and energy.

The commenters on that TC post, some of them at least, see Twitter as just another fad, a “mutual admiration society” within “the largest echo chamber in all of tech,” that is, TechCrunch itself.

Kara Swisher at the Wall Street Journal’s “All Things Digital” blog goes into a little more detail about the perceived importance of Twitter.

I think, though, the real story is the endless echo chamber of Silicon Valley that seems to persist in overestimating the meaning of Twitter, especially compared to so much more that is going on in the tech industry.

With only about six million registered users (with a much lower number of active ones), Twitter gets written about as if it were a mover and shaker extraordinaire, instead of just being what it is: An interesting status-alert start-up that makes zero revenues and turned down a very large buyout offer from another once-too-overhyped start-up (Facebook).

Well, after yet another week in the real world, I am here to tell you, precious few people still have any clue what Twitter is or how it works.

Is Twitter’s importance overrated? Maybe, but I think a larger and more culturally important issue is highlighted by one of the comments on Swisher’s post.

Continue reading “In which the author summarizes the authority-based tweet debate and then finds something new to write about”

Online authority debate centering on Twitter

Having a lot of followers on Twitter doesn’t make you an authority. That’s the message from Jeff Jarvis and John Naughton, who both posted to their blogs recently about whether Twitter should rank tweets by some measure of “authority.” Both of them are responding to another post by Loïc Le Meur that calls for search by authority.

I’m in the process of reading these three articles now, and I’ll work on reading others that pop up via Google Alerts. Expect me back with a highly regurgitative summary in a day or two.

Edit: Found another one, thanks to the comments on Le Meur’s post. Robert Scoble points us to this post at TechCrunch.

Brief opinion: ISPs and the RIAA

Maybe it’s just my uninformed opinion, but Internet service providers should not be held accountable for what sorts of information flows over their networks.

Several analogies have popped up online in comments about this, especially in comments on RIAA lawsuit stories. For example, toll booth operators are not held liable for illegal driving that takes place on the roads they monitor.

The point is this: those who provide access to networks (of whatever kind) aren’t responsible for policing those networks. They are responsible for providing access to the networks.

Another thing: Yes, pirating music and movies is illegal. Yes, the pirates should be sued or otherwise held accountable for their crimes. But while we, a a society, a compelled to live within the bounds of the law, or face punishment, we are not compelled to help enforce that law. ISPs are run by private individuals and are usually private companies. They should not be compelled to enforce the law any more than a single citizen should be.

More TriCityNews reaction

Pat Thornton at The Journalism Iconoclast reacts to Anil Dash’s post about TriCityNews. Dash, you may recall, wonders whether the alt weekly is really a “news”paper at all or just an adspace. Thornton agrees with Dash and chides the New York Times article’s author, David Carr, for “not proving that the triCityNews serves its community well.” He goes on:

Most people in a community aren’t advertisers, and they are served by quality editorial content. Maybe the triCityNews is a fantastic editorial product, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

But, as commenter Michael Josefowicz on Thornton’s post points out:

if you follow the money, wouldn’t most business people at most newspapers agree with “I don’t want anything that detracts from the paper and the presence of those big, beautiful full-page ads” and “business sense” and “running lean” and keeping advertisers happy.

Bloggers out there are harping on the TriCityNews’s publisher for being proud of his big, full-page ads and for not mentioning his journalistic content, but when we really get down to it, aren’t all newspaper businesses equally in love with their ads and their advertisers? Ads, after all, do pay the majority of a newspaper’s bills. Why should the journalism idealists out there exhibit the TriCityNews as an example of greediness or of not serving a community need when it’s basically operating under the same business principles as the big guys?

All of this really turns on Carr, who didn’t give his readers a crystal clear vision of what the TriCityNews publishes on the news side of the aisle. Perhaps he and the publisher talked at length about the paper’s journalism, but Carr did not include that in his story, and so we must speculate.

I suppose it’s good that the industry’s still strong enough to reject a story that offers a glimmer of hope because it’s lacking a few details. When the journalists start accepting any story of hope without questioning it, then you know the industry is in deep trouble.