The future of Delicious was caused a lot of arguments on the web. I personally like Delicious as it’s one of the most simple and clean web bookmark management web service out there on the Internet. Certainly, web Bookmark services does not seem to be profitable. The acquisition of Xmark was by LastPass was another example of down trending of social bookmark services.
Bookmarking itself is a challenge. Each URL becoming useful to some extend has to be tagged in some way. Although a bookmarked URL may have already tagged by other user, it’s still quite a bit of effort to define a set of tags that captures the full taxonomy of a URL. Contents tend to be outdated very frequently, thus, I rarely look back my bookmarked item unless the article was really memorable to me. But you can always find them quickly through Google or other search engine if the content is very popular, which is much quicker than digging out from your bookmarks.
Where does the revenue come from?
A lot of users are using browser plugins to add bookmarks to their Delicious account. This possibly reduces page hits and generating revenue by adverts is not an ideal long term solution (Delicious doesn’t seem to embed any adverts either.). Unfortunately, Yahoo! didn’t work out other ways to keep up with their balance sheet. Nowadays, Firefox, IE and Google Chrome provides solutions to easily synchronise any bookmarks to their services, which is seamless and hassle-free. The ‘Announcement of the Death of Delicious’ also brings a lot of opportunity for other competitors, one of the example was that Evernote published easy opt-out solution for Delicious users to export their bookmarks to Evernote.
Should we trust ‘Yahoo!’ ? I actually started to worry about my Flickr account as Flickr is also one of the greatest photography site that does not generate great amount of revenue for Yahoo!. The news release has beyond shutting down or selling a service, it has hurt the users’ trust.
Keep it real
Since the acquisition of Delicious, internal developers said that there were more reporting work to do than simply focusing on research and development. Large company and enterprise seem to forget about what the business is about but tries to satisfy stakeholders by asking managers to produce useless, endless reports. A rush finished report or documentation also tends to restrict imagination as people probably follows the plan without consideration of the changing environment. As former Yahoo-er Chad Dickerson said:
“Yahoo! often got stuck doing PowerPoints about strategy instead of writing code and shipping products.”
I hope Delicious will find a good buyer who can redefine the vision and overcome its weakness. There are still a lot of potential of what they can achieve with social bookmarking especially Delicious has already have a large user base with tremendous amount of user information (audio/video/images binary content, recommendation system… you name it).