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.)