A week or so ago, there was a big hubbub when it leaked out that Yahoo was planning to ‘sunset’ Delicious, among other properties. Panic ensued as people started posting evacuation instructions and looking for alternates. Not too long afterwards, a yahoo press release clarified that they were planning to sell Delicious, not shut it down outright.
In principal, that should have been the end of it. The incident, however, pointed out just how perilous an existence Delicious leads. The point is, it’s a ‘property’, suitable to bought and sold as a line item in the budget. Delicious hasn’t really changed all that much in the last several years. Now, I recall hearing some time ago there were a few pundits lamenting how tech companies (with special attention to Microsoft) tend to keep or invest their earnings rather than paying dividends. The case was made that there might come a time when a company had a solid position in a no-longer growing market, at which point it might be better to give the investors some return on investment rather than trying to reinvent itself. We might consider that this applies after a fashion to Delicious (except that it doesn’t make any money)
The problem is: I’m not an investor, I’m a user.
During the panic, the only alternate that got mentioned several times was Pinboard.in Not coincidently, the Pinboard site had “heavy load” notices up during the rush. Pinboard has an active checklist of planned features and appears to be growing steadily in both features and users. They are also making money A most peculiar sign-up fee is based on the number of users. I suppose it’s a way of having each new user pay part of the upkeep of the existing users. Or perhaps serve as a sort of automatic price-setting, or a check on growth. It will be interesting to see if it eventually becomes prohibitively expensive (or just attracts cheaper competition).
The occasion of doing the export/import also reminded me that I never got around to properly cleaning up my tags after importing to Delicious. This was a rather daunting task because I had over 1600 bookmarks (around 1300 after cleaning out link rot) Worse, during the import to Delicious, I accepted the offer to add common tags, which added a lot of junk that wasn’t really meaningful to me. The process of review also pointed out that I’ve been making new bookmarks on the order of one per day since joining.
Reorganizing with Pinboard had it’s ups and downs. The organize mode gives you a split screen window with a Pinboard form on top and the site in question on the bottom, which makes for pretty efficient work. On the other hand, bulk operations on tags are rather tedious. I didn’t see a rename function anywhere, so I often had to star-remove-add-unstar, and every step in that process required edit-thispage-operation. It would be nice if the current set stayed selected until the edit box was closed. At least it was easy to get in a certain routine – unless there was a really big tag, in which case one has to fight habit and click ‘all pages’ instead of ‘this page’
I chose Pinboard because it’s a labor of love, while Delicious is a property. It’s not so much the sites themselves, as what kind of product I’m supporting, and what kind of world I’m supporting.