By Richi Jennings. December 17, 2010.
[Updated December 20 9.30am EST, to fix split infinitive]
24 hours ago, users of the Del.icio.us social bookmarking-cum-tagging service were stunned to hear that it would close. Owner Yahoo had included it in a list of services it planned to "sunset." But apparently, that was wrong. Read on to discover more, in The Long View...
The Interwebs were up in arms yesterday, at leaked news that Yahoo would kill a handful of its "web properties." Well, few mourned the death sentence meted out to pointless services such as MyBlogLog or Yahoo! Buzz, but the denizens of Del.icio.us were positively apoplectic.
For example, this impassioned eulogy from Marshall Kirkpatrick:
It's a loss not just for the many people who used Delicious to archive links of interest to them around the web, it's a loss for the future - for what could have been. ... People are just beginning to appreciate the value of passively published user activity data made available for analysis, personalization and more. That could have been you, Delicious.
There are so, so many things that a simple service like Delicious was good for. ... It was beautiful. And now it's gone. ... So much value. So unappreciated. So tragically lost.
And this, from Charlie O'Donnell:
This is an awful outcome. ... Not only does del.icio.us represent a whole lot of missed potentialespecially as we see the device-shifting Read it later world of Instapaper, Readitlater, Flipboard, etc emerging. ... [But] Yahoo! (unlike eBay with Skype and StumbleUpon) is making no attempt at passing the service off.
Is there really no entrepreneur who could take the service and make something out of it?
Well, Charles, your prayers may have been heard by the Yahoo deities. Yahoo's Chris Yeh just popped up on the Del.icio.us blog to try and calm everyone down:
No, we are not shutting down Delicious. ... Theres no reason to panic. We are maintaining Delicious and encourage you to keep using it. ... We were very disappointed by the way that this appeared in the press.
We believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users. Were ... exploring a variety of options and talking to companies right now. And well share our plans with you as soon as we can.
So there you have it, from la bouche du cheval: Del.icio.us isn't going anywhere -- except out of Yahoo.
Apparently, Yahoo management is incandescent that somone leaked the list of services it plans to kill. But that's just one more illustration of the lack of management nouse at Yahoo these days.
How naive to expect that a PowerPoint slide displayed at an all-hands meeting wouldn't get leaked. How PR-illiterate do you have to be, not to have a statement ready for such an eventuality?
And why does it take almost 24 hours after the news gets leaked for a clarification to be available?
Let's hope that whatever phoenix rises from these ashes is well funded. Someone needs to deal with the service's spam content and continuing unreliability issues.
Fingers crossed, eh?
How would you tag this article in Del.icio.us? Leave a comment below...
|Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: TLV@richij.com.|