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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Delicious Upgrade Only Skin Deep

I personally think delicious is a great tool and I often describe it's use in presentations and workshops. It recently went through an upgrade that improved the look and performance. However, it interestingly left out a lot of what I said was missing in my post - Yahoo MyWeb better than del.icio.us, rollyo, et.al. for Personal and Group Learning from March 16, 2006.

My claim back then was the Yahoo MyWeb has some features that made it better for a lot of corporate users, and while I hate to argue for its use, the fact that two years later after Yahoo acquired del.icio.us (delicious), they've not addressed these issues is a surprise.

What were the issues I cited back in 2006?
  1. Searching within the contents of my bookmarked pages
  2. Page caching (so I don't lose the pages I've bookmarked)
  3. Control on sharing of bookmarks (private, friends or public)
  4. Categories of Friends (so I can have family, work, etc.)
  5. Web Badge for Integration into my Blog
Okay, so they've addressed (a while ago) item #5. But that's really the least of the items. When you think about what knowledge workers need relative to Keep / Organize / Refind / Remind, I've discussed in The New Skills that we want to be able to keep track of everything we've seen with minimum effort. If users can't do a full-text search across their pages (or if they might lose them), then this violates this rule. Further, if they don't feel comfortable making certain saved pages public, then this also will hinder adoption.

Yahoo has so many issues these days, you'd think when there are obvious, high value features, they would attack them.

Maybe in another two years, they will do something more than skin deep.

4 comments:

christytucker said...

Tony, why not use Diigo in addition to/instead of delicious?
* Diigo lets you highlight and cache pages. This also means you can search within the content of the pages.
* It doesn't have a third privacy level of "friends," but you do have both private and public. You also have several ways to share with friends and groups.
* You can create groups of friends (like you were talking about for categories).

I know I sound like a commercial for them, but I really like Diigo (and no, they don't pay me). But if delicious isn't giving you the features you want, and another service does, why not use Diigo?

I do still use delicious sometimes, but it's mostly my backup for Diigo. Basically, I use Diigo as my primary bookmarking service and have that automatically send to delicious.

James BonTempo said...

Just this past weekend I did a little experimenting with the Google Custom Search API because I too was looking for a way to search the contents of my del.icio.us bookmarks (rather than simply the title, description, tags, etc.). I found out that there is a way to pipe an RSS feed of your del.icio.us bookmarks into your custom search engine giving you the ability to do just that. How cool?! Unfortunately, you can only pull out a maximum of 100 sites using the del.icio.us feed, but it's a start. One potential work-around would be writing a script that would use the del.icio.us API to pull your entire list of sites and create the XML "annotations" file. Maybe I'll take a crack @ this next weekend :P

Tony Karrer said...

Christy - that's a good point. However, when I went to MyWeb a while ago, I found that I wanted to use the site that the majority of my colleagues used - which was (and is) delicious. How do you avoid that issue?

James - that's an interesting workaround. You can probably pull out more sites from delicious by using various tags (each can deliver an RSS feed).

christytucker said...

Everything I bookmark in Diigo is automatically saved in delicious too, so I have it in both places. It doesn't send the highlights and cached pages, of course, since delicious doesn't support that, but at least the URLs, titles, tags, and comments are shared.

Having it all both places means I can still maintain a network of delicious users and can share that way if that's what others are using. I give people the link to my delicious bookmarks when I know that's the site they're using.

I don't actually visit delicious much anymore. I use it when I'm researching and want to see what others have bookmarked, and periodically I check what people in my network have saved. Delicious does have a much larger user base, so I often do find resources there that haven't been bookmarked on Diigo.

Since it's all automated, it's pretty easy to maintain both.