Delicious: What Went Wrong?

DeliciousIn the last few days, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Delicious as a slide leaked from a Yahoo company meeting declared Delicious was one of the companies Yahoo planned to “sunset” or shut down. Now Delicious’s blog declares that Delicious will not shut down, but it will find a new home somewhere else. Delicious could be great, but it languished on Yahoo’s back burner. I know a lot of educators who used it to great effect, and even when I switched to Diigo, I didn’t close my Delicious account—I just set up Diigo so that it published my bookmarks to Delicious, too. I knew some folks subscribed to my bookmarks’ RSS feed in Delicious.

I started using Delicious in 2005 because at that time, I was having difficulty with Firefox randomly losing my bookmarks. I liked the idea that I could save my bookmarks somewhere else where Firefox couldn’t lose them. It has since become more stable in that regard, but I was hooked on social bookmarking by that time, and I still rarely use my browser bookmarking tool. I totally understand the irony of switching to Delicious so I didn’t keep losing my bookmarks, in case you were wondering. I switched to Diigo in 2009 largely because of a few more features it had that I liked. What makes both Delicious and Diigo great is the ability to share bookmarks. Silvia Tolisano uses Delicious. Until she started having trouble with the RSS feed updating multiple times when she posted bookmarks to her blog, she was sharing her finds by posting links saved in Delicious to her blog automatically (which is something you can also do with Diigo—I do it). Silvia shares some really amazing stuff, and I hate to think of that vast resource of hers disappearing into the ether. I really hope she switches to Diigo, so I can follow her there.

I think what went wrong with Yahoo and Delicious is that Yahoo didn’t understand Delicious’s potential. I told my husband when we were talking about it that the only Yahoo service that would generate a larger outcry if it were shut down is Flickr. I think it’s sad that Yahoo never “got” Delicious. I think Yahoo’s problem for years has been that they don’t understand the potential of the products they acquire and develop, and they focus on the wrong things. They’ve just laid off a large number of employees. This article notes that “This marks the fourth time in three years that Yahoo has resorted to mass firings to boost its earnings.” I think that strategy speaks for itself.

So what would I do if I still used Delicious? I’d switch to Diigo, but I would also try to figure out a way to prevent losing my bookmarks in the future should anything happen to Diigo. ReadWriteWeb has some good articles about the loss of Delicious:

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3 thoughts on “Delicious: What Went Wrong?”

  1. I was so relieved to read yesterday that Delicious wouldn't actually be shutting down! One of my favorite and most-used services.

  2. Dana, I never got any inkling in the days before the Yahoo-Delicious "death". I never received an e-mail from Yahoo and was inattentive about the changing web everyday thing, I lost all my bookmarks in Delicious. I tried the recovery thing once I found out that I no longer had my Yahoo-sign-in Delicious bookmarks. It never worked for me. I was first a Diigo person, doing Delicious bmk's, Google Bookmarks, and zotero and Evernote bookmarks. Maybe somewhere I will have posted them elsewhere, but I know and agree: it's like setting a museum on fire.

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