The news leaked a couple of days ago that Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz feels that the hugely popular Delicious.com social bookmarking site is “not a strategic fit at Yahoo ” and wants to get rid of it. It looks like Yahoo was originally going to kill Delicious outright but after a shit storm broke out on Twitter and elsewhere it looks like they are now trying to find a buyer for it.
Actually, I think Yahoo, which gets most of its revenues from advertising, is crazy to get rid of Delicious. The service holds over a hundred million bookmarks detailing millions of web user’s interests, data could be used to deliver highly targeted ads. I also don’t understand why Yahoo never tried to monetize Delicious with ads. Other sites that host user generated content like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have no problem slapping ads on the content. What’s so different about Delicious that made Yahoo unwilling to do the same?
Delicious is important to me. I don’t want to risk losing my bookmarks and immediately exported them and started looking for a replacement service. Exporting my 4000+ bookmarks from Delicious was a piece of cake. I just went Settings > Export / Download Your Delicious Bookmarks , hit the Export button and 30 seconds latter I had an HTML file containing my bookmarks. Now I just had to find a new home for them.
There are lots of social bookmarking services, I needed one that could import my thousands of Delicious bookmarks without losing the tags and descriptions. It also had to work well on mobile and be able to add a new link with using a bookmarklet that works in Opera Mini and the Android browser.
Of the services I investigated Pinboard and Diigo looked the most promising so I created an account on each and fired off an import of my bookmarks from Delicious. Both services seem to be struggling to keep up with the mass exodus from Delicious. It took Pinboard four hours to do the import, Diigo is still “processing” my import after 30 hours!
Pinboard’s features mirror those of Delicious. Bookmarks include URL, title, tags and descriptions and can be public or private. Anyone, Pinboard member or not, can search public bookmarks or browse pages of recent and popular ones. You can share yours at pinboard.in/u:username. To share a single tag use pinboard.in/u:username/t:tag
Unlike Delicious, Pinboard is not free. There’s a one time sign up fee, currently $8.62 for the basic service. The price is determined by the number of users times $.0001. That’s an interesting pricing model. I can grok early adopters getting a better price. On the other hand the every increasing cost to join would seem to discourage growth – or maybe that’s the idea.
Pinboard offers several bookmarklets for adding bookmarks. I took the simplest one and cleaned it up a bit so that it works in Opera Mini even on Motorola feature phones where bookmarks are limited to 254 characters.
You can find my mobile-optimized Pinboard bookmarklet and instructions for using it here. It’s been tested with Opera Mini 5.1,Opera Mobile 10.1, the Symbian^3 browser and the Android 2.2 browser. It should also work with Safari, Palm Blazer, the WebOS browser, older versions of Opera Mini and Mobile, the Android browser since OS 2.2, Nokia Webkit since S60 3rd ed. FP2 and Mobile Internet Explorer.