Thursday, 11 February 2010

Firefox portable, diigo and tagginganna

I'm currently involved in a project called Text Tagging: Searchable Reader-Commentary on e-Texts, and a Pedagogy of Implicit and Explicit Meaning. Otherwise known as tagginganna - which I've blogged about several times before. The tools we are currently experimenting with are and diigo. is proving relatively easy to use, from a student perspective at least, because it doesn't require users to download anything or sign up for anything. Diigo, on the other hand requires users to both create an account and install a toolbar. Creating an account in diigo is easy enough to do but installing a toolbar, when your students are forced to work on Internet Explorer 7 and don't have permissions, is more difficult. Getting the diigo toolbar officially installed across campus will take months and will also require evidence that diigo is useful. So how do we pilot software that we can't install? I think we've got round the problem by using Firefox portable on a USB stick. This is how:

  • I downloaded Firefox portable and saved it to a USB flash drive;
  • I then used these clever instructions to add Flash to Firefox portable (by default it doesn't come with it) just in case we need it at some point;
  • then I opened Firefox potable from the USB stick and added the diigo Firefox addon;
  • then I set the home page of Firefox portable to the site I want the students involved in the project to view first.

I've tried it out on a student account and it worked fine - Firefox opens up, Flash works and users are prompted to sign in to diigo or create an account via the tool bar Diigo - sign in button - which is handy.

I think it should work fine. Have I missed anything?


  1. I love your blog style. This is very much in the spirit of the tagginganna comment discourse - informal but precise, giving in order to receive.

  2. Excellent: good work that man. I think that covers it, as far as I can see.

  3. [...] upside the limited trials we’ve attempted have worked quite well (apart from trying to use Diigo with Firefox portable on a USB stick – which just kept freezing – and I’m still not sure why). [...]

  4. does the flash player installed on the portable Firefox work both on windows 64bit and 32bit?

  5. I'm afraid it didn't really work at all and never quite got to the bottom of it