skip to content

What's Your Delicious Story?

Update: I've added a question on Quora about this too - feel free to contribute your story there.

In my last post, I talked a bit about the notion of Delicious being a platform with a myriad of uses, and I've been actively wondering about this since then. Upon further reflection, I've realized that the best way to figure this out is actually to engage and ask people directly.

Accordingly, I'm asking for your help. Of course it's upsetting that Delicious is being sunsetted, but other than individual users and Archive Team, people seem to be doing very little about it. Delicious is clearly more than the bookmarks. I want to gather information about how people like you and me actually used it beyond it's obvious functionality. Did you use it to manage resources for your dissertation? Did you use it to communicate with family about a serious event or illness? How did you go beyond the boundaries of it being just "about bookmarks"? How did it make you think about how you organize your information environment? I want personal stories that talk about what you may lose, however intangible it might seem, when Delicious eventually shuts down.

Beyond this, I want to use this information positively. I want to help share your stories. I'm hoping to do this in the form of more blog posts, or potentially even a journal article or conference presentation. Of course, I need your permission to share your story, but I'm willing even to hear how you've used it even if you would prefer it not to be discussed, cited, or quoted publicly.

To share your story, you have a number of options. You may, of course, leave a comment on this post. If you have your own blog or website, feel free to make a post there and then link it in a comment and send a trackback to my blog. Make a YouTube video (which I have, see below!) or a Flickr set. Tweet it. Use the tag #mydeliciousstory on whatever social media or Web 2.0 platform you prefer. Or... you can do it the old fashioned way and send me a personal email to delicious at thesecretmirror dot com. If possible, please let me know if you're willing to answer further questions, and if you're using email please specify the equivalent "speaking terms" under which you're sending your message.

To get the ball rolling, I've made a YouTube video describing how I used Delicious while at NYPL. It's kind of lame, but you have to get started somewhere.



  • 💬 Stephen Francoeur at January 5, 2011, 08:25 UTC:

    When my library first started using Blogger for a reference staff blog, the service didn't yet offer tags or categories, so we began using Delicious to index blog posts.

  • 💬 Jonathan Rochkind at January 5, 2011, 08:36 UTC:

    Delicious getting shut down is not certain. We know from a leak that Yahoo isn't that interested in doing anything more with it. But it could very well be sold or spun-off, not shut down.

    One interesting use the way anything tagged '#code4lib' will show up on the Planet Code4Lib aggregator. In this way, if I want to share something with #code4lib, I've just got to tag it using my firefox or chrome browser plugin, in a couple clicks I know I'm sharing with the community. Any comments I enter in my bookmark will even show up in the Planet feed. In this way, delicious can end up almost like twitter (but specifically for sharing links, which is just one of twitters uses), bookmarking something with a certain tag that you know gets re-published elsewhere or otherwise followed by a certain community.

  • 💬 M.A. Matienzo at January 5, 2011, 08:41 UTC:

    It's not certain that Delicious is getting shut down any time soon, but it's possible that Delicious could shut down eventually, even if sold, spun-off, or if Yahoo! suddenly decides it's worth something again. Regardless, the point is the same - which uses are the less obvious, or perhaps even less official (potentially even violating the TOS!), but have become something notable enough about how they are more than just about "saving a page for later."

  • 💬 Nick Ruest at January 6, 2011, 05:14 UTC:

    Similar to your example, I use delicious a lot for project research and conference talk planning. I'm stuck between Zotero and Delicious at the moment and imported my Delicious history into Zotero during the frenzy, but still habitually use Delicious. I guess I really like it and don't want it to go away.

  • 💬 Enrico Natale at January 6, 2011, 13:48 UTC:

    We used delicious as a coordination tool for building a Database of relevant websites for historical research in Switzerland. One delicious account was used simultaneously by 3 persons. We made our first selection bookmarking and tagging websites on Delicious. Then we started to integrate the websites in our Database. Tasks were shared among collaborators according to the delicious tags - "archive", "library", "historical association" etc.
    We also used Delicious for monitoring the progress of our work. By tagging "done" each resource included in our Database, we could follow live the progress of our work. I worked well, and we're still using it to bookmark websites to be added.

  • 💬 Ari Davidow at June 6, 2011, 19:15 UTC: was the really my first cloud-based data storage service. It solved a major problem I was having which was that I habitually work on several computers and often change browsers. Under those circumstances, browser-based bookmarking is futile and worst, I would often find myself looking at bookmarks months later wondering why or what had made me save that location. (This is even worse when the page has moved or disappeared.)

    The ability to store bookmarks online, accessible from anywhere, coupled with the ability to tag them and to explicitly share them with others was incredibly liberating.

    For several years it was also standard practice when creating talks to tag the pages I wanted to display at the talk. Then, as part of prep onsite I could very quickly load each of those locations in a separate tab. Fast, accurate, and still the easiest way to prep for that kind of talk.

    Truth is, though, that I bookmark less with now. I still value the ability to have the site tell me when I am bookmarking something already bookmarked (not a feature of, say, tumblr or twitter), and miss the instant view of how others have tagged a page (and what they are viewing). But I find myself using it less, nonetheless. It's like captured a moment in time and then never developed further.

    My question to others is how you will replace the service? I have tentatively rolled my data over to the new, but I'm not sure I'll leave it there. Mostly, it has become something like Zotero for me--something that does a few things wonderfully and is otherwise not enough a part of how I work right now. That doesn't mean that I've replaced it; it means that I spend too little time on for it to be part of my life anymore. But nothing else has stepped in.

    What are other people doing/using?