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7 Million Users And Still Bootstrapping



Grab your digital highlighters, entrepreneurs, and take notes on Diigo. This company has been bootstrapping and changing and simply refuses to rest. And their still in business thanks to such dogged effort. While competitors have faded and folded, the determined startup has gone on to earn 7 million registered users and counting.


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For those unfamiliar, Diigo is a personal knowledge management tool – or multi-tool, that lets users annotate the web and collect information. Share web pages, archive web pages, create sticky notes and bookmarks, highlight text and more, thanks to this evolving company.


Jack Of All Trades

Launched in 2005 as an online bookmarking site, Diigo (Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff) soon morphed into an annotating tool. While students and teachers appreciated these familiar memory aids making an appearance online, they weren’t enough to sustain growth.


Over the years, Diigo has become more social, adjusted to tablet and mobile platforms, and continued to improve features. Earlier in 2013, they completed yet another redesign. Diigo now has a fresh appearance, improved search function for bookmarked pages, and an enhanced Chrome browser extension – the Diigo Web Collector. After marking pages with Diigo open, a new search in Chrome will display results in personal Diigo libraries without needing to open Diigo. What’s more, users can revisit pages with previous notes and highlights.



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Diigo keeps archives in a cloud-based information management system. Archive pages to read later, store screenshots and capture images, and share with others. Updates to the browser experience on the iPad and iPhone are also on the way. In response to a post on TechCrunch, Founder Wade Ren wrote, “Now that we have gained a critical mass of user base, you should see us evolve faster going forward, towards our goal of providing the ultimate personal knowledge management tool. Stay tuned!”


Research’s Best Friend

Diigo currently operates on a freemium model, allowing unrestricted bookmarking while charging for the ability to maintain unlimited page caches and screen shots. The browser plugin makes it easy to gather, organize, and share information found on the web.



Constant innovation has kept Diigo afloat in rough waters. Nearly all of their peers have closed up shop or diminished in prominence. Rapgenius, perhaps bearing the closest resemblance, has managed taking the slightly different tack of building destination sites, as opposed to Diigo, which allows users to annotate the entire web. Then of course, there’s Evernote and the likes of Pocket and Instapaper, but none of these companies offers the same comprehensive array of tools as Diigo.


Tags for remembering Diigo: determination, startup persistence, survivor. Expect Diigo to stick around.


Photo Credits


Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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