You can't put the Delicious Genie back in the bottle

This was the week that delicious died. For me and for many others.

Delicious was one of the very first social services that I discovered when I became interested in blogging. It was a true  pioneer. Delicious was my first working experience of social software that realized the full potential of folksonomy.  The genius of delicious was the introduction of the concept that I could attach as many tags to an item as I wanted, ensuring that I could recover that item at a later time by typing in a keyword that was meaningful to me in the context in which I thought of that item. which I found infinitely superior to traditional rigid taxonomies. (If you’re new to the concept, David Weinberger‘s Everything is Miscellaneous provides a great introduction to the opportunity that digitized data provides for us to organize information in ways that is meaningful to ourselves and the people with whom we have a community of interest.) Add to this the ability to share these tags with friends and co-workers and you had a tool that was unlike anything that had come before and instantly useful.

In many ways delicious is my online memory. I use it daily. I bookmark items for future reference in blog posts, in presentations, and when trying to make sense of the world.

When I saw the news of its impending demise, I realized that I couldn’t lose the data I’d collected in Delicious. So I looked for an alternative.

I wasn’t alone. Twitter and the blogosphere were full of messages about delicious alternatives. If the sheer volume of discussion is any indicator, delicious lost a huge number of users when the news of its impending demise spread.

Yahoo tried to put the genie back in the bottle with a post saying that the memo had been misinterpreted and that indeed Yahoo would find a new owner for delicious instead of shutting it down.

Sadly, I think the damage had already been done and loyal delicious users like myself discovered an alternative that actually offered many better features over a much loved service that Yahoo had allowed to languish and become a laggard instead of an innovator.

I’ve moved on, ported my Delicious tags into a new service, Diigo, and discovered I like it better. (More on Diigo tomorrow.)

  • Anonymous

    Joe: I’ve heard good things about Diigo, too. Unfortunately, nearly 72 hours after trying to import all my Delicious bookmarks, they’re still not showing up (can only imagine the untold thousands of others trying to do the same, which has obviously slowed the system down).

    From Scott Monty, I heard about Pinboard, which imported all my bookmarks in a snap. It also synchs up with Delicious, so that my bookmarks will go to both places with one action. I do hope that a permanent solution will be found to #SaveDelicious. But in case that doesn’t happen, I’m covered!

    • Bryan, I think you are right about Diigo’s servers being slow. The spike of traffic must be huge. I’ll post tomorrow about my experience with Diigo. It would be interesting if you could post about Pinboard. The more info we share while we’re figuring out the best solution, the better.

  • While I’m not a huge social bookmarking user, I am a fan of Pinboard. Simple, powerful, intuitive. And the one-time sign up fee keeps the spammers away.

    • Eric, first Bryan. Now you. Clearly Pinboard has something to offer. Based you Bryan’s comments and yours, I’m going to play around with it myself. And I’d urge you to write a post on your blog talking about its strengths. Shared info makes us smarter.

  • Is delicious really going down? I just cant see it happening

  • I agreed with everything you said – right up to where you said you preferred Diigo. I’ve gone back to Delicious (for now). I suspect that Yahoo! (morons) weren’t expecting the backlash it got from its user base over the decision to “sunset” Delicious and it is now back pedalling – first with the “No no no no – we’re looking for *buyers* for Delicious” blog post [http://blog.delicious.com/blog/2010/12/whats-next-for-delicious.html] and I suspect we’ll see that idea dropped soon and replaced with “Delicious will stay as a core component of the Yahoo! family” or *part of our mission to provide excellence* bullshit.

    Either way, Delicious stays.

    • Paul, I’d love for Delicious to survive. However, Yahoo is a company in trouble. They’ve cut core staff dramatically. I fear that, even if Yahoo keeps Delicious, they’ll allow it to languish and it will fall further behind other services in innovation. At best, that would leave us with an archive of our past posts, but the need to use other services to experience an up to date interface and features.

      One of the reasons I selected Diigo is that it enables me to cross posts my tags to Delicious when I post them to Diigo. So, this gives me the best of both worlds. A vital, innovative service in Diigo and a door to go back to Delicious if Yahoo does pull a rabbit out of their hat.

      • I didn’t know it could cross post. I’ll have to check that part out. I agree that Yahoo! is in the mire. I just don’t think Delicious is going to die. I believe, on reflection, that they will move to DeliciousPro model – like FlickrPro – which I pay for and I would be happy to go to a DeliciousPro model. Same price.

  • Amongst the many mistakes Yahoo has been prone to make, the Delicious episode has seemed the most inadvertently negligent one.

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