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.)