SiliconFilter

Back to Beta: Delicious Returns With a New Design and Focus

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Delicious, the venerable Web 2.0 social bookmarking site once known as del.icio.us, debuted its new design and feature set today. After its sale to Yahoo, the site lingered in extended hibernation for years, but it was finally acquired by the YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen earlier this year. The two promised to restore Delicious to its former glory and to start adding new features soon. Today, Delicious is launching its new design which favors large, bold images over the text-centric view of the previous design. In the best tradition of Web 2.0 sites, it is also calling the service, which has been online since 2003, a ‘beta.’

As for new features, Delicious is now offering its users the ability to curate ‘stacks’ of links. These are lists of links to sites, photos and/or videos that you can then share with others one the service (or the rest of the Web, of course). Delicious calls them “playlists for the Web.” You can also follow stacks from other users.

new_delicious

Familiar Design + A Few New Features = A Good Start of the New Delicious

While the new owners obviously made some changes to the overall design, the general feel of the site will still feel very familiar to those who used Delicious in the past. The blue and white color scheme, for example, is still there. Some of the other changes are minor, but point toward the general direction the new owners are planning to take the site: the navigation has been simplified, bookmarks are now called links, and users can set profile pictures. The new owners also promise to make the site more social than ever before.

At the same time, it’s also important to note that all the tools in the Delicious ecosystem (browser extensions, bookmarklets etc.) and the service’s API will continue to work.

Some Problems

There are some issues with the new site, though. There are, for example, no RSS feeds anymore that you could subscribe to. Those users who forgot to opt-in to transfer their bookmarks to the new site by logging in over the last few weeks will now also come to the site and realize that their login credentials won’t work anymore and that all of their old bookmarks are gone.

Overall though, it feels as if the new Delicious is off to a good start. The new homepage looks far more inviting than the original one and the focus seems to be shifting more toward discovery than just the basic Web 2.0 staple of bookmarking and tagging sites.

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4:57 pm


In a World of Share-It-and-Forget-It Sharing, Is There Still a Place for Delicious?

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The more I think about the Delicious acquisition by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the less sense it makes to me. Delicious was one of the staples of the Web 2.0 movement – a time where everybody was talking about sharing and tagging. In reality, however, Delicious didn’t just linger in Yahoo’s care without many updates because Yahoo didn’t care, Delicious’ concept of bookmark sharing simply wasn’t an idea that seemed very appealing to Yahoo’s mainstream audience and hence probably didn’t justify the expense of developing new features.

For most users, bookmarks live in the browser and thanks to built-in or third-party sync, the only problem Delicious solved for these users (having a central repository of your bookmarks) hasn’t been an issue for years now. If anything, apps like Instapaper, as Gigaom’s Mathew Ingram also notes, have jumped into this niche with features that actually solve a problem for their users.

Update: While I wrote this, Delicious’ own founder Joshua Schachter told CNN that he himself also thinks that the service’s time has passed.

Share More – Bookmark Less

It’s a strange phenomenon, though: On the one hand, we probably share more today than we ever did thanks to services like Twitter and Facebook. The thing there, though, is that these are share-it-and-forget-it services. We send a link to Twitter and Facebook – maybe have a short discussion about them with our friends – and move on. Need to find something again? Just Google it.

There still seem to be some niche users for Delicious (sharing links with students, colleagues etc.), but for the most part, there are plenty of other solutions for this now as well, especially when you want to curate content and not just share some bookmarks.

My personal feeling then, is that there really isn’t much use of services like Delicious on the Internet today – mainstream users never cared in the first place and advanced users have moved on to other, better tools. That, of course, doesn’t mean that Delicious’ new owners couldn’t turn the service around by making it useful once again. Pure bookmarking services, however, have outlived their usefulness.



1:37 pm


Delicious Finds a New Home at AVOS, YouTube Founders’ New Company

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Yahoo today announced that it has sold the bookmarking service Delicious to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen. According to Yahoo, the plan is to continue the service and “make the site even easier and more fun to save, share and discover the web’s “tastiest” content. Yahoo will continue to manage the service for the next few months until the transition to Hurley’s and Chen’s newly launched AVOS company is complete. Delicious expect the transition period to last until July 2011. Financial details about the transition were not released.

According to an FAQ posted on AVOS’ site, the first priority for the new owners is to launch a Firefox 4 extension (AVOS’s website is currently down, likely due to the high interest in this story).

Yahoo acquired Delicious in 2005 and the service has lingered in limbo ever since. While Yahoo kept the lights at Delicious on, it did not do much to introduce new features to it over the years. According to an internal memo that was leaked to the press in December 2010, Yahoo planned to “sunset” Delicious if it didn’t find a buyer for it soon.


Here is the full text of AVOS’ press release:

YOUTUBE FOUNDERS ACQUIRE DELICIOUS FROM YAHOO!

Promise Users the Same Great Service And Even Easier & More Fun Ways To Save, Share, and Discover the Web’s “Tastiest” Content.

San Francisco, CA., – April 26, 2011 – Delicious.com, the leading social bookmarking service, has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. Their vision for Delicious is to continue to provide the same great service users love and to make the site even easier and more fun to save, share, and discover the web’s “tastiest” content. Delicious will become part of AVOS, a new Internet company.

“We’re excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level,” said Chad Hurley, CEO of AVOS. “We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web.”

“We spoke with numerous parties interested in acquiring the site, and chose Chad and Steve based on their passion and unique vision for Delicious,” said John Matheny, SVP of Communications and Communities at Yahoo!

The YouTube founders plan to work closely with the community over the next few months to develop innovative features to help solve the problem of information overload. “We see this problem not just in the world of video, but also cutting across every information-intensive media type,” said Chen.

Going back to their roots, Hurley and Chen located Delicious in downtown San Mateo, California, blocks away from where they started YouTube. They’re aggressively hiring to build a world-class team to take on the challenge of building the best information discovery service on the web.



10:26 am