Monday, September 12, 2011

Delicious: A Resurrection Ahead for Social Bookmarks?

If you've seen the VRC's bookmarks over at Delicious you know that we have assembled over a thousand bookmarks from Web sites pertaining to art, architecture, archaeology, museums, images, and related information resources. We have tagged these links with labels to help you navigate through them and find sites of interest. And more importantly, we are not alone -- over 5 million other individuals and organizations have bookmarked and tagged almost 200 million sites. Pick just about any topic and Delicious can lead you to new online resources, and to other users with similar interests who have publicly shared their bookmarks.

So far so good. But a troubling development came to light last year. A leak at Yahoo!, which had acquired Delicious in 2005 and had done little since to develop its potential, indicated that the service was to be "sunsetted," which many interpreted as "to be shut down." Yahoo! publicly declared that this meant that they would be selling Delicious, rather than ending it. But many users by now had decided that investing time in social bookmarking at Delicious was a risky endeavor. Many accounts, including the VRC's, were left in a holding pattern until the dust settled.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust aside, Delicious was acquired in April by AVOS Systems, a company founded by the creators of YouTube. As reported in a New York Times piece today, these entrepreneurs are now using their expertise to breath new life into Delicious. Among their goals is greater ease of use and broader adoption. These will be fueled by the collective desire for better control of the torrential flow of information that we all experience. As Chad Hurley states, “We want to simplify things visually, mainstream the product and make it easier for people to understand what they’re doing." We look forward to watching the developments at Delicious, and resuming our bookmarking activities soon. Stay tuned!

Image: Daniel Andrlik (mointrigue), Delicious Is Dead, 2010, available from Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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