Apparently it’s not only the season for holiday giving, it’s also the season for favorite web 2.0 services to go offline. It’s as if Scrooge has moved into Silicon Valley! Yesterday was the last day of service (paid or free) for drop.io, and today we learn from TechCruch (via Bud Hunt) that delcious.com is going dark.

Scrooge Head Maquette

Of course everything can’t be free online, but I (like many folks, I’m sure) have grown accustomed to using delicious.com‘s social bookmarks for free. For several years now, I’ve been using Delicious as a backup for my bookmarks, which I have set to cross-post from Diigo. Back in September, I wrote “Time to ditch Diigo or pay up?” and complained about Diigo going premium. Today’s announcement that Delicious is going away isn’t the equivalent of “the sky falling,” but it is news which is catalyzing a lot of brainstorming and problem solving. What shall we do?

Alec Couros has created an open, shared Google Doc for brainstorming “Alternatives to Delicious.” The current collaboration on the document is fast and furious – similar to the “Alternatives to Ning” doc Alec created in April when Ning when premium.

Alec’s document, edited by 33 folks so far, includes more than 10 delicious alternatives, such as:

  1. Google Bookmarks
  2. Diigo
  3. Mister Wong
  4. PinBoard
  5. Xmarks
  6. Google Chrome Bookmarks Sync
  7. Porta Portal
  8. Scuttle
  9. EverNote
  10. Historious

Of these options, Diigo looks (as far as I can tell) like the best option at this point. I’d prefer to continue using Diigo as my primary bookmarking tool, and have it cross-post automatically for backup purposes (as it’s done to Delicious) to another bookmarking platform. I think this duplication of bookmarks is very important. Scuttle looks promising as a backup option, since it’s self-hosted, but I don’t know how I could cross-post simultaneously to Diigo and Scuttle. It would be nice if there was a service like PixelPipe for photos, which supported posting once and the cross-posting several places.

Many thanks to Alec and everyone who has contributed to the Google Doc on Delicious Alternatives to date. It’s awesome to see this kind of real-time collaboration, and I’m sure many more people will benefit from this shared effort in the weeks ahead! The discussion in the doc brings up important questions like, “What is social bookmarking?” Lots of tools can be used to save text, but not all qualify as “social bookmarks” in the same way Delicous, Diigo, and some other tools do. The ability to tag saved bookmarks, access saved bookmarks via the web, and browse publicly shared bookmarks from others are all essential parts of social bookmarking from my vantage point.

If you are a Delicious.com user and haven’t lately, consider downloading a full backup of your current bookmarks.

Export Your Bookmarks on Delicious

As described in Alec’s Google Doc, delicousbackup (free) will let you make this static snapshot of your bookmarks web-browsable if you have access to a shared hosting site. I’ll give that a try over the holiday break.

Will the loss of the Delicious.com bookmarking service affect your life? If so, what are you considering doing in response?

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On this day..

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  • http://sde.state.ok.us Eric Hileman

    Thanks for this post. I discovered Delicious back in 2007 at the ODLA conference held at OSU Tulsa. I think you were the keynote speaker that year too.

  • Pingback: Delicious Suddenly Gone Sour | The Groovy Librarian - Teaching in the 21st Century

  • http://www.BryanPerson.com Bryan Person

    Wesley: Delicious has been an important part of my workflow the past 4-5 years; I have thousands of bookmarks there. A friend had recommended Diigo several months ago, too, but I hadn’t checked it out — until yesterday. My plan now is to cross-post to Diigo and Delicious (you can do that, right?), at least until Delicious’s fate is sealed.

    And I wonder if Yahoo has considered this … but I’m probably far from alone in saying that I’d be more than willing to pay if that’s what it took to keep the service alive!

  • trevor

    I use firefox, and i sync my bookmarks to a dropbox account. then when i add them or remove them it updates across all my regular computers. dropbox is free, and on top of that i can use it to store files and whatever else i want.

  • Jennifer W

    Hey Wes —
    thanks for the post — I shared my thoughts here: http://projectsbyjen.com/blog/?p=1854

    I already have a diigo account — so the transition will be simple but then again, it won’t. Delicious worked for me……it just did. Not sure why, but it fit and I was very content.

    I, myself, will roll with the punches. Sadly, those who I have been working with for months to try Delicious, and finally saw them create accounts last week……will perhaps become cynical again to online tools…..and we begin again at ground zero in helping them to try (and to trust) online opportunities.

    Jen

  • http://loganelmschools.com/tech John Rundag

    It appears we may have “jumped the gun” on the leaked document from Yahoo. While it does appear that Delicious is not one of Yahoo’s long-term products, they have no plans to shut it down. They will look for a buyer or possibly offer it to the open source community. I would prefer the last option. For the time being, I will be posting to both Diigo and Delicious.

  • http://ehsynchro.com/blog/ David McGavock

    Thanks all. I started with delicious but have been synching my bookmarks from Diigo -> Delicious for over a year now. It was nice to have them in both places and different views. Now I’m just glad I have my Diigo. If this is any lesson I guess I need to sync my Diigo with something else now.

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