Has this ever happened to you? Three years ago during the course of my normal working day my Firefox was corrupted and all of a sudden I lost 100′s of bookmarks never to be seen again. Gone! Poof! Now, I had backed them up, but like any normal person, did I back them up every day? Hell no.
Immediately I thought, “This is ineffecient, surely there must be a better way of storing offline booksmarks.” At the time online ‘social bookmarking’ services, where we store and share bookmarks with others, were just coming into prominance so I gave it a shot and never turned back. Why is this important for bookmarking arcade game resources? Read on and I will explain in depth.
Too many social networks. Too many social bookmarking services.
Social networks haven’t been around all that long, but already they have some negative associations. Social networks are black holes for sucking time that many people already start to think “Do I really need one more social network to add my information to and try to maintain?” But just because the word ‘Social’ is in the same breadth as bookmarking, doesn’t mean that using a social bookmarking service is anything like your Facebooks and your MySpaces.
There are a lot of choices for sharing links out there, Delicious, Diigo, Magnolia, Furl, Blinklist and many other options and variations. Just type in ‘Share This’ in a search engine and you’ll know more than you ever wanted. I started out using Delicious, and briefly used Blinklist. But Diigo blows every competitor out of the water because of its robust maintenance and editing tools and it was built with groups in mind. In their own words from the Diigo website;
Diigo enables effective collaborative research. You can easily share your findings, complete with your highlights and sticky notes, with friends and colleagues. A project team, a class, or a club can create a group on Diigo to pool relevant resources, findings and thoughts together.
Get on with Arcade Bookmarking! What are you – my grandpa?
As a collector, my knowledge of repair and restoration is in it’s infancy stage. I am a creative thinker and don’t easily understand schematics and electrical design. Reading articles written by experts on these subjects are like pulling teeth for me, I want the specific information I need, and I want it now. I have long given up on being a repair expert and I have better things to do.
So, what if I could find a resource on monitor repair and have the section already highlighted that might be of particular interest? That is just one of the many features of Diigo, highlighting and annotations. What if I want follow another collector who I know is an expert at restoration, like Brian Jones? Well, let’s say Brian had an account and he was adding bookmarks, I could then browse what he was adding and his annotations and pick up some helpful insights into arcade cabinet restoration that I wouldn’t have had before. Instead of one person searching for information, now it’s two. Add in a whole community of users and you have a very targeted user base of information. Everyone is searching for similar answers and the possibilities for knowledge sharing are limitless.
Individual Diigo Group Bookmarking Features
Once you sign up for a free Diigo account, you can then join groups of your choice. I have started the ‘Classic Arcade’ bookmarks group with the hopes of learning from other collectors and drawing new ones into the fold.
Joining or testing out the group is so simple and just a couple button clicks away. If you know nothing about any sort of service online, Diigo has streamlined the signup process where you could turn on 3:00 pm work self autopilot and cruise through the signup. Diigo has a free plugin for both Internet Explorer and Firefox, but unfortunately not Safari or Opera. (Opera I wouldn’t expect, Safari I do and hopefully they will add that soon.) The Diigo website will install a nifty little toolbar that isn’t too intrusive, at the top of your browser window. The installation is easy, and at least with Firefox, the plugin will automatically update with updated features. The Diigo toolbars look something like this;
You can see a button called ‘bookmark’. When you are on a webpage and you want to bookmark something, you click that button, a window pops up and you enter your savings details. Here is what that window looks like;
You see the URL of the page you are bookmarking, in this case, a blog post here on Rotheblog about a really old arcade machine that sold for cheap on Craigslist in MI. Next you see the title of how your link will be stored taken from the
Next is the Description field. This is where, if you felt like going into this much depth, adding a description / note to yourself about what you found here and why this link is important.
Lastly, the ‘Tags’ field. For those of you out there still using a folder structure, this may be an adjustment. I know it was for me at first. Just like Gmail, and many other services out there today, we are breaking free of rigid folder structures and moving to a method of adding tags to information so that it can be easily categorized in different ways. Here, I have typed in my tag ‘arcade-craigslist’. Your tags can be anything you want, any structure that helps you remember your resource.
Why tag it ‘arcade-craigslist’, and not just ‘craigslist’, or ‘arcade’, or ‘arcadecl’? Because I have some 6,000 bookmarks, my memory is purely online;) All of my bookmarks are entertwined, and I don’t want to have to search long. This is a way that I found to break down even further my tagging system by giving my links a ‘category’ of sorts of ‘arcade’, and then within arcade this is a ‘craigslist’ resource. Make sense? I know it does, I’m not that complex.
Finally, the really good stuff, the ‘Share to a Group’ checkmark. Now, if you click this box, a little timer will come up, and then a list of suggested links based on the text in the page.
You can see you now have a ton of options for what to tag this page to share with the arcade collecting group. There are a lot of extra links, but this is ‘arcade-michigan’, so I would click that tag which would automatically add it and be done.
Then, you see the Group Comment window, where you can further add notes for the group about why this is important.
Wow, lots of notes, and lots of work. These are just bookmarks, you say. I used to be able to hit Ctrl + D, hit ok, and be done. This system is not for everyone, I agree. But for those of us who hate wasting time researching for something, and enjoy using the power of others to discover other information, Diigo social bookmarking is right up your alley. Plus, you’ll more than likely never lose your bookmarks to a browser crash again, and may never lose any bookmarks again. Diigo is based out of Idaho, and I anticipate that they will be around for awhile. Social bookmarking is not a new concept and has been widely accepted and adopted.
How do I highlight the important arcade information?
This another great feature of Diigo for bookmarking is the right click context menu. With Diigo installed, when you highlight a section on a page, your menu will come up with an option ‘Hightlight and Bookmark’.
Click this option, and you will see the same dialog box as above, and you can type in information. But, if you look at your bookmark homepage, you will see that you have indeed saved this text. In your newly installed companion bar, click ‘Diigo > My Bookmarks’ and you will see a list of your bookmarks, with the tags on the right to browse your information. If you click ‘expand’, your highlighted note is now added as a comment.
When you visit the page again later on, your note will show the text highlighted in yellow. As a group, other members can then comment on your highlighted note, by adding a sticky note, stimulating conversation. Another member can say, “Hey, this information is incorrect because…”, add the correct information and a link to another website branching that information further. Again, collaboration is limitless.
After a comment is added the highlight turns to blue to indicate a sticky note and every other group member will see the page like this with a rollover pop up sticky note;
That’s just some tips for arcade bookmarking with Diigo
I have only covered the cusp of what can be done for bookmark sharing in the collecting community. There are a ton of other features, one of which is a sidebar which will unobtrusively show suggested tags for a page you wish to bookmark and shows what other users have bookmarked the page as well as their comments.
I have about 1,800 arcade related bookmarks and growing! Granted, the information that I may bookmark may be more interesting to me, may be more basic in nature, or may not be of interest to you at all. But, wouldn’t you think to give my list of hard sought bookmarks before you would trust Google solely for relevance? Google is not human.
Questions on Diigo
I’d love to hear your thoughts. I know a lot of you don’t do anything social network related online, so this article may not be for you. But I have gotten a few followers that might end up being collectors, and that is the ultimate goal isn’t it? New arcade collectors to find those games hiding all around, and to keep the hobby going for future generations. If there are people that are piqued in interest, what else would you like to know? Any special arcade uses you might like to know about?
If you want to join the group and just try it out, click on the Diigo Classic Arcade Bookmarks Group on the right sidebar and get started. Or, if you just want to browse my links in a tag cloud, visit the “Links” page from the main navigation and click on Diigo Bookmarks.
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