Long live delicious!!

delicious social bookmarking service logoThe hint that the delicious social bookmarking service might be closed created a frenzy of speculation among web denizens and commentators just before Christmas. A leaked presentation from Yahoo — the behemoth that has been benignly neglecting delicious since it acquired the service 5 years ago — listed delicious in a group of it’s products that were headed for the knackers yard.

Within hours of this rumour coming to light, people were talking about exit strategies, alternatives and the wickedness of corporations.

There was a strange sort of panic. Would it close overnight? What would happen to the millions of links saved? You can’t just sweep away the community delicious engenders, can you?

I got swept away in this. I too didn’t want to loose access to the 1000 or so references I’ve collected, with their organic chaotic tags.

Since starting to use delicious about four or five years ago, I’ve barely dabbled in the social bit of the bookmarking service. Occasionally I’ll look at who else bookmarked the same link. Rarely I’ll look at links saved and tagged by people whose work I follow (including Beth Kanter, Nancy White and Clay Shirky). Even less frequently I look at tags like nfptech or online_facilitation. Receiving updates by RSS is something I’ve never done.

It’s the tagging, sorting, grouping that I like. Plus there’s the brilliant integration into Firefox, where I can view all my tags with click of CMD + SHIFT + S, and tag items with a single button.

Full text search of the titles and annotations of bookmarked items I’ve collected, as well as using tags, makes it easy to find obscure reports, links to widgets, websites for developers, etc. I use delicious almost everyday.

On looking at few services recommended by other punters grappling with what to do in a world post delicious, none seemed as good on first inspection. Perhaps familiarity would make my heart grow fonder, but hostirious, diigo, pinboard and a few others didn’t combine all the features I now consider essential.

A list of open source booking options which I could host on the whanau webserver really grabbed my attention. The difficulty evaluating whether they’d suit me put me off looking further. To do this properly would take hours of torturous installation and configuration. 

After wasting many hours, I reassured myself by downloading a file with all my bookmarks, tags and annotations.

The next day, much to my relief, rumours of the imminent demise of delicious were revealed to be a storm in teacup. Yahoo responded to the leak and exaggerated inferences within 24 hours saying they’d prefer to sell rather than close delicious.

As with any service — whether online or off for that matter — there’s no guarantee it’ll last for ever, or stay in the same ownership. However, I doubt something as big as delicious would close overnight. There’s a lesson here about not jumping to hasty conclusions before the full facts come out.

For now at least, I’m just relieved delicious lives on.

PS You can find my odd assortment of bookmarks at: delicious.com/sablyth

PPS To any prospective purchasers, I’d be willing to pay a nominal annual fee for a quality bookmarking service.

Photo credit: annavanna