or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

The Dilemma with Delicious

   December 21st, 2010

Leaked Yahoo Slide Showing Delicious SunsetYou probably heard last week that someone leaked that Yahoo was planning on shutting down Delicious - but then later said it will be maintained until a good home could be found.

When I first read this, two things struck me:

  1. This is very bad, considering my library website's subject guides rely on Delicious, plus I've been telling people for years to convert to Delicious
  2. This isn't so bad, because the demise of Bloglines was announced and averted

So, for the time being, I'm not panicking - but it is a perfect reminder that we need to face the realities of third-party tools with eyes wide open. You can integrate anything you want into your website, but remember it may go away at any time. David Lee King has a great post on this (and gwern0's comment is spot-on).

What is a librarian to to? Our options are:

I'm going to be doing a little bit of all of these. Since there is no imminent deadline, I'm going to ignore all of this until after the holidays. Then, I'll backup my bookmarks and start looking at alternatives in case migration becomes necessary. I had been wondering if there was a host-your-own option, so I'm happy to see that. However, although it would be nice to have control myself, I like the shared aspect of these tools. Not to mention I'd be responsible for the maintenance, and there is always the danger of getting stuck in yet another information silo.

If we do have to move, right now I'm leaning towards Diigo because it seems to match most closely the Delicious features I use - namely, linkrolls and a bookmarklet (or toolbar). I haven't investigated very far, but it also looks like importing Delicious links will be easy.

This is just life on the web - nothing is permanent and nothing is irreplaceable. However, the initial "sunset" announcement struck me like a bad Christmas present.

Speaking of which: as usual, I'll be visiting my family for the week of Christmas, and so won't be posting. Because driving this time of year is always weather-dependent, I've been playing with Weather.com's Travel Weather Summary - you type in points along your route and the times you'll be passing through, and it tells you if you'll hit snow there. It's neat, but the interface could be slicker. I've never used it before, so we'll see how accurate it is, and if it's reliable enough to embark on a two-hour detour.

Happy holidays to everyone.

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4 Responses to “The Dilemma with Delicious”

  1. Shaya Says:

    Hi Brian-

    Great post about the not so delicious dilemma with Delicious. I too was looking for alternatives. As a student, I’ve found YourVersion to be the best. It’s not as well known as some of the other alternatives being suggested, but it provides a free, seamless transition from Delicious. You can import your bookmarks in seconds. In addition to great bookmarking functionality, it’s a real-time discovery engine. Diigo is probably the most similar to Delicious, but it doesn’t automatically import all of your bookmarks. And Pinboard costs money. In short, I’d give YourVersion a shot since it’s free. Plus, as a researcher yourself I think you’ll like the discovery engine.

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Shaya: Thank you for the suggestion – I hadn’t heard of that one before, so I will definitely check it out.

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