Has Delicious Lost its Flavor?

For this latest assignment, after finding some of the links in my required text to be dated, I began looking for some current information on the state of Delicious. The first thing I found was an article published in January that talked about the imminent closure of the social bookmarking site and discussed how this would affect libraries and what they should do to mitigate the potential loss of content.

As Delicious is a social bookmarking software that we will be using in a future assignment I was a bit perturbed to find that it may not be a viable one to use in the future

The article gave a few examples of how university libraries were using Delicious but when I followed the links I found that some of the libraries no longer had any Delicious content available on their websites:

MIT Libraries

Stanford University Libraries

The College of New Jersey

I wondered if perhaps these libraries had been worried about losing the content they had invested in Delicious and had moved their links elsewhere.  After a cursory glance at each website it was unclear where, or if, they had moved their content.

I was not familiar with Delicious’ format before but it appears that they have added visuals to what had been simply text entries before.  This makes the application look more interesting but I am not certain if the functionality has changed.

I stumbled across another article on ZDNet.com, AVOS’ Delicious Disaster: Lessons from a Complete Failure, which offered up a somewhat scathing review of Delicious’ new incarnation.  Apparently the change from one format to another caused many users content to disappear.  This might account for the “404 Not Found” message I saw on The College of New Jersey website mentioned above.  Whether or not this disappearance is temporary is unclear.

There are a lot of social bookmarking sites out there, just see Squiddoo’s Big List of Social Bookmarking and Networking Sites.  The sites are voted upon and ranked by the most popular.  Interestingly Delicious was ranked fifth in the list.  One through four were: Squidoo, StumbleUpon, Twitter, and Digg.  Which of these sites might be best for libraries is a question best answered in a future post.

This exercise in investigating Delicious has made me realize how fluid content on the Internet is, and how this might be unfortunate for libraries that rely upon applications that are not run in house.   This might also be a case for investing in applications that could be run in house.  If libraries do use social bookmarking sites it does seem prudent to have a backup of this content somewhere local.