Monday, April 4, 2011

Delicious, Bookmark Housecleaning and Graveyards

Last December I was one of many alarmed to hear Yahoo would be shutting down delicious (or if you're kicking it old school). I've used the tool for many years and enjoyed the web-based bookmarking that freed me up to move between computers and access my saved bookmarks.

Logo of Delicious
After using it to bookmark my stuff, I soon found that Delicious was an area I could search before going to google and get better results because others were sharing their bookmarks as well. I quickly added smart people to my network and would search their bookmarks for links that had the benefit of being vetted by a trusted source. The light bulb turned on, and I became aware of the "socialbookmaking" part of delicious.

Delicious became a favorite subject of mine for workshops with teachers. I extolled the benefits of using a network of others to help find websites to use in class. And talked about how much time can be saved when teachers are networked and bookmarks are open. And like many who use web2.o apps, I assumed delicious was secure and would be around indefinitely.

So as I read through many of the "alternatives to delicious" links, I felt like an evicted tenant sizing up my options for where to move to and call home for my huge family of bookmarks.

But I was determined to find some silver lining. Although this was an inconvenience- some good might come of this still. Like a family who moves houses, I have a great opportunity to size up what I need to take with me.

I don't really have a problem with hoarding physical items. My office is pretty barren. I could put all my "work" belongings in one box. But "digital" is another story. My delicious account is bloated, and it's been a long time since I've done any work to pare down the jungle of folders and bookmarks. Delicious is a great system for organizing bookmarks, but one that requires a little attention to organization.

I've heard Delicious referred to as "the graveyard for bookmarks," and I'll admit there are more than a few zombies in my bookmarks. Links or tags I haven't revisited since bookmarking them (years ago), and some duplicate tags litter my Delicious page. Pages that I have bookmarked and then never returned.

Do I really need a "video" and "videos" tag? How many of the 240+ twitter links should I really save for the future? I thought that link was in "internetsafety" or "digitalcitizenship" but it's not; maybe "cybersafety"? I know I bookmarked it, now where is it? Yes, there is a search window in delicious, but what if I can't recall the meaningful keywords I would have tagged it with?...Ehhh, what a mess.

Maybe some housecleaning is in order. Time to sort and box up what to take and maybe what to leave behind when I move to the new place. So although I don't welcome the change, maybe it's time to reconsider how I organize my bookmarks. I'll streamline my system and look back at this as an important moment. I won't haul my bloated zombie hoard to Diigo or Google . I'll embrace organization and structure. (cheering) U-S-A, U-S-A!

Let me at 'em!!!

UPDATE: After the outrage over the closing of Delicious circulated for a bit, Yahoo! announced it was not being shut down. Whew, glad that is over....

UPDATE II: Then this: "Delicous in Peril" via Mashable. Time to be concerned again?

UPDATE III: Like the customer hanging around until the neon OPEN sign is turned off, I'm still in delicious and I still haven't really cleaned up at all. I looked at "Diigo" but it seemed a little too busy, and although I like google bookmarks I haven't seen how I get my "network" in there. I guess truthfully I like my graveyard the way it is, and I'll probably hang out until they close the doors. However, I do like what I am hearing about

If you too are looking for options and need a little help, Richard Byrne has a useful post on how to prepare a migration of bookmarks out of Delicious and into another platform. And here is the link to a list of delicious alternatives on googledoc via Alec Couros.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. It is, as always, in true Em form. Really laughed at the 'barren' desk. I too have been scratching my head about whether to move or not. Great to read your opinions.

  2. Great post. I had wondered what was going on when my Delicious Add-on didn't make the migration to Firefox 4. Also great points on the graveyard idea, interestingly I really only miss Delicious for adding stuff to it, rarely do I miss it for wanting to go to it and find something, although the idea of poking other peoples graveyards does seem more interesting than looking at links in my own.

  3. Thanks to you both for the comments. I appreciate it and think Joe nailed it on the value to discovery in others delicious bookmarks. That is what I hope will be preserved in delicious- the network in socialbookmarks.