Diigo and the rise and fall of Delicious

One of the big bits of tech news yes­ter­day was a leaked slide show­ing that Yahoo was clos­ing down Del​.icio​.us,
the social book­mark­ing sys­tem that helped define. Yahoo must not do
Twit­ter because it took them till today to final­ly respond. They now say
that Del​.icio​.us doesn’t fit their strat­e­gy and that they will be sell­ing it.

Do
we care? Should we care? When it start­ed in 2003, Del​.icio​.us was some­thing
inno­v­a­tive and quirky. It helped teach us that our online behav­ior
didn’t need to be secret and locked away on our hard dri­ves but could be
shared. Indi­cat­ing that you thought a web­site was wor­thy of a book­mark
could be a rec­om­men­da­tion to friends. Even peo­ple book­mark­ing a site was
an indi­ca­tion of it’s real world val­ue. For us techies, Del​.icio​.us
opened our eyes up to a world where every­thing could be an RSS feed and
in 2006 I jig­gered the social aspects to cre­ate a human-powered
edi­to­r­i­al aggre­ga­tor Quak​erQuak​er​.org.

When Yahoo bought it we
were all a bit ner­vous but it seemed like a good move. Yahoo could bring
serv­er resources and a user­base and take Del​.icio​.us to the next lev­el.
When cor­po­rate decid­ed to rename it Deli​cious​.com, it stripped the
quirk­i­ness but per­haps sig­naled a will­ing­ness to take this more into the
mass­es.

Diigo Import
Screen­shot of my revived
Diigo account, show­ing
Deli­cious imports.

Alas, it didn’t turn out that way. Deli­cious set­tled in
and stopped inno­vat­ing. Even­tu­al­ly the founder left Yahoo. Things got so
bad that it seemed excit­ing when it essen­tial­ly got a design make-over a
few years ago. Com­pet­ing ser­vices sprang up but none were dif­fer­ent
enough to make many of change our habits.

So yesterday’s news is
per­haps a good thing. I’ve been look­ing at those oth­er ser­vices. Diigo​.com looks real­ly fab­u­lous. I tried it when it launched in 2006 but wrote it off at the time as a Deli­cious clone with high ambi­tions. But they’ve been work­ing hard. They’re onto ver­sion five now and they’ve been
adding the kind of cool fea­tures that an inde­pen­dent Deli­cious might
have pur­sued.

For exam­ple, you can add a note to a web­page that you’re book­mark­ing and then send a spe­cial URL with the site and note. They make it real­ly easy to Twit­ter this. Last night I book­marked and tweet­ed about an online radio ser­vice I’ve been using: 

Lis­ten­ing to a lot of Radio Par­adise late­ly. Good back­ground work music, inter­est­ing selec­tions: diigo​.com/​0​e​8gw

That Diigo link will take you to Radio Paradise’s home­page with the note I added. That’s real­ly use­ful.

Diigo just a few moments ago put out a Tran­si­tion to Diigo FAQ. Export­ing from Deli­cious is real­ly easy and import­ing it to Diigo is easy too – though not instant, it was about twelve hours. I’m con­fi­dent enough about Diigo that I’ve upgrad­ed to the $40/year Pre­mi­um account – part­ly chip­ping in since I imag­ine they’re being hit with lots of new accounts today.

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