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Pinboard Acquires Delicious (blog.pinboard.in)
800 points by cjbprime on June 1, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 227 comments

I built a five-year career of self-employment on the back of a Mac app called Pukka which was itself built upon Delicious.


I turned the interest in the app into my first piece of commercial software which, coming from an open source and free software background, was actually pretty daunting. I timidly started charging five bucks in the pre-App Store days, before eventually raising the price over time to make it more sustainable.


I had ups and downs, launched a second app (Meerkat, for SSH tunneling), but eventually realized I wasn't really an indie product person as much as I was a people and services one, so I ended up doing about 80% consulting and 20% Mac software, including Pukka.

I eventually ended up folding up shop after I went to work for Mapbox full-time in 2011.


This is something Maciej even wrote about.


So I'll always have a spot in my heart for Delicious, and this seems a fitting and appropriate end. I'm so glad its content will remain available in perpetuity.

> Pinboard works with a variety of outside services, including Reeder, Delibar, and Pukka. If there is an API feature that you need to make your app work, just ask!


I think the subtext here is that Maciej should update the text to remove Pukka! :-)

Tangential, but what made you decide to go back to full time employment?

Also, did you just not enjoy working on a product as much as consulting work, or was it simply not as lucrative/sustainable/reliable?

I wrote about the change:


Basically, I thought I'd never work again for someone else. That was over six years ago. Mapbox has grown from about 15 to over 220 people now. Somehow I knew it was different and it was just compelling enough — plus I had a "try before you buy" experience through contracting that was just too good to pass up.

On the balance, I definitely enjoyed the software (and still do), but especially working at home on my own, I enjoyed the interaction with people (usually by email or phone, sometimes in person) and the constant variety and problem-solving nature of it. And not just technical problems, but organizational and strategic problems, too.

I think it could have been as lucrative, but at least in the Mac software space (and probably the iOS one more so), it had a certain element of "grind" to it, with product marketing and website presentation, working PR contacts and releases, and constantly getting things in front of influential people. As much as I enjoyed that some of the time, I didn't want to do as much as it would have required to make apps the lion's share of my income.

Thanks! I never thought of it this way before, but I suppose there's no "set it and forget it" to selling on the app store if selling on the app store is your primary source of income, since you have to keep working to ensure the product remains relevant, gains new customers, etc. (Selling on the app store is decidedly not SaaS, after all.)

Yep, exactly. Even the "greats" just relentlessly promote and keep their apps relevant. Even a one-day or one-week windfall from a viral launch will not sustain you over time.

Pukka was great, and it's so nice to hear from you in this thread!

Pukka was one of the first apps I bought on the mac. Thank you.

Thank you for Pukka. It was an awesome client.

Thanks for Meerkat. Nifty little app.

I honestly didn't realize delicious was still around. It felt really groundbreaking at the time. I loved the ability to tag and search for links by tags to find new interesting content. Perhaps with introduction news mashups like digg it didn't feel as useful anymore. I stopped using delicious soon after it was acquired by yahoo.

Site has been bounced around a bit since.


"The site was founded by Joshua Schachter and Peter Gadjokov in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo in 2005. By the end of 2008, the service claimed more than 5.3 million users and 180 million unique bookmarked URLs.[2][3][4] Yahoo sold Delicious to AVOS Systems in April 2011,[5] and the site relaunched in a "back to beta" state on September 27 that year.[6] In May 2014, AVOS sold the site to Science Inc.[7] In January 2016 Delicious Media, a new alliance, reported it had assumed control of the service.[8]"

I am still waiting for a better experience in save what I like.

Pocket is great for text, but only for that. Pinboard is cool and safe but is not for me. I still use google to find things that I have saved before, since 96, I have countless files called Temp on bookmarkers for things that I need organize, things saved on twitter, Medium, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Keep, HN, Evernote and on mobile, there are tons of screenshots of things that I could use later. And that is for things that I already have seen, but, unfortunately, nothing of this is used to refine my experience in discovery new things that I could, potentially, like to see.

I really hope that more people attempt to compete with Pinboard.

Hey there,

I'm one of the earliest users of Delicious who recently built a modern bookmarking platform. It's called Kozmos (https://getkozmos.com). It's a competitor to Pinboard, and its difference is simplifying bookmarking into one heart button, I mean you don't need to fill forms to bookmark a page anymore. It has an advanced search engine that makes you find whatever you're looking for.

I self-funded this project and worked on it past three months. If you are curious about how it looks, you can see this blog post; https://medium.com/@azerbike/introducing-kozmos-a-new-bookma...

My vision for this project is to not just build a bookmarking platform, to innovate further based on bookmarking.

Looks cool. And I was thinking about how a better experience to bookmark could reshape how I use the browser now. Funny how coincidently you went from building a better browser to build a bookmarker. Btw, I used to use Too-Many-Tabs to change from House to Work mode. Now I have 2 logins on Chrome, is there anything like this on kozmos?

Yes, so glad other people also see what I see. Bookmarking is like the missing piece of current web.

I don't have that feature in Kozmos but will keep it in my mind.

Personally, I absolutely need the option to tag bookmarks, is this supported, or do you have plans to?

I imagine pinboard supports this, but when I looked at it something stopped me from pulling the trigger, despite how desperate I am for this type of service.

Kozmos will support collections soon. So users will be able to organize and publish their links.

For tagging, it has a different approach. It has tags behind the scenes; reads the tags from the bookmarked page, and adds also additional tags such as the type of content.

A collection would be like one tag I suspect. And auto tagging is not what I'm looking for that's for sure.

Hey Azer! Was wondering what you've been up to, I couldn't remember what your name was, always be #leftpadgate guy to me. Gonna check out your service.

Let me know what you think!

This looks nicely executed with some fresh ideas. Good luck!


Curious to know, what's your business model? You mention you self-funded, but is the intention to have paid accounts, sell advertising, etc?

The business model relies on the next versions which will introduce new innovative ideas on top of bookmarking. It'll take some time, I won't rush. Currently the server is AWS free tier so it's not costing me anything. Personally I'm doing contractor to keep my budget healthy.

Having a business model will get you more users. I'd add it sooner than later.

I do have a business model, but not for this version of the app

Fermat's last business model

I hear you.

I used Pinboard a couple of years ago but stopped using it in favor of Pocket (I can't seem to recollect the exact reason why). Pocket is great for things that I want to save for later. I have cached copies of webpages in my Pocket that are no longer online, so that is pretty neat.

Lately I've noticed that Pocket has become like a cold storage for me. I rarely ever go back to reading the bookmarks from it. I recently found a bookmarklet [1] on PH that works like Pocket but sends the bookmarks to your email instead of sending it another app. It has been working pretty well for me so far. I've been using it to send myself an email for stuff that I want to read in the near future (within the next couple of days or so) and use Pocket for saving links that I might need at some later date.

But discoverability is still an issue, I am yet to find a decent solution that can help me find new things based on my interests.

[1] https://www.emailthis.me

I've discovered that the missing link for me was getting the articles onto my Kindle. I now read between 100-150 articles a month this way, previously I would read only 10-30 articles in a month.

I use Wallabag, an open source alternative to Pocket. It generates an RSS feed which Calibre can read, download, and send to the e-reader. Pocket should do the same thing. Once a week or so I go through and mark articles as read, then open up Calibre to re-download the fresh feed.

One weird trick (heh) that has become really useful is reversing the RSS feed. So I receive two 'e-books' on my Kindle, one with new articles and one with old articles. This satisfies me, since I'm often wanting to read some new articles ASAP, while also working my way through the backlog.

Calibre lets you script the feed processing in Python. With Wallabag the feed is also paginated, so you could accomplish nearly the same thing by selecting a higher page number. Not sure if Pocket does that.

Came here to also suggest wallabag. Getting running on your own host is dead simple (just a few 'apt-get's and a 'make' script) and the community has made apps for just about every platform. Also, as a limited-vision reader, the accessibility options are really well done!

I was looking for a pocket replacement due to privacy concerns and an ever growing annoyance with ads. Wallabag has a Pocket importer and the rss feeds are a really nice touch! I even put up a parser on my website to show people my starred articles: http://desandoval.net/i-am

I'll try the ebook trick. That is a really good idea! I was looking for a reason to pull out my old B&N Nook again ;)

First I used browser bookmarks. Organizing and searching them was a mess. And link rot was terrible.

I looked for something different and used OneNote to store complete web-pages in the cloud. Link rot was gone and organizing and searching was awesome. Until my OneNote file on OneDrive reached 8GB and performance and syncing took a nosedive.

And not so long ago I found ScrapBook for Firefox [1]. Couldn't be happier! Storing everything locally is awesome. Searching and organizing full pages and links is great. I can take care of backing up the data myself and can crawl the pages on my local drive.

I just hope that firefox keeps those plugins running, otherwise I'll have to find something else again...

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/scrapbook/

I have used https://www.icyte.com/ for years to combat link rot (disclaimer: I am currently the maintainer of the site).

My current favourite tool is this chrome extension(https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/save-to-google-dri...), which saves pages in mht format to google drive.

Thanks for your input. But there are a few important things which I really like about ScrapBook:

It's simple to organize. A sidebar with folders, supporting drag and drop.

It stores the source 'as is' with html, css, images and optionally js. This simplifies tooling and scraping locally. Afaik, MHT is not yet fully supported on all browsers.

I can go offline and look at stored pages. This is very important for me because I have a long commute by train each day.

Since OneNote I avoid cloud storage and syncing when possible. After GB's of Data, syncing starts to be a nightmare. But, I could start syncing with dropbox, rsync or something else. And I'm free to choose. Fortunately I don't need collaboration features.

In my opinion a simple, local solution beats everything else. Actually, a feature like this should be built into the browser natively. And it's not far off from the current state: It is simply a bookmark sidebar which also supports save-page. It's kinda sad that, after so many years, browser still make it hard to store and watch content offline. The current save-page functions just don't cut it.

The most important reason I continue to use Pinboard is that it's the only service I'm confident won't be acquired and shut down within a week with no warning or no data export. (based on Maciej and his talks, blog posts, etc.)

The rest of the services mentioned in this thread? Who knows?

Try Are.na (https://www.are.na). Built for saving all types of content, more centered around organizing information than straight-up social bookmarking (though people use it to do that). Disclaimer: one of the co-founders.

Out of curiosity, why is Pinboard "not for you"?

The experience I had using pinboard was very similar to what I have using Chrome and Firefox Bookmakers. As I said, I still have saved pages I used in 1996, I have never had an experience of losing everything. So, the only advantage would be the rankings and the tags trends.

Well, and being able to get at your bookmarks from anywhere, and being able to attach searchable descriptions/tags to the bookmarks so you can find it even if the page title or URL isn't memorable.

Firefox bookmarks support tags, keywords and descriptions. Plus it syncs (encrypted end-to-end), so you can get them anywhere if you can use Firefox from that place.

I didn't realize any browser's built-in bookmarks supported tags and descriptions. That's neat.

I use both browser bookmarks (Firefox) and Pinboard. I think they're complementary rather than one being a replacement for the other.

I use browser bookmarks for pages I visit often or intend to return to fairly soon. I use Pinboard for long-term archival where link rot is a real concern.

It's not really what you're after, but we're some folks trying to compete with Pinboard. I'm sure Maciej once tweeted something about it being a business that could be successful for a couple of indie devs, not a big VC-backed startup, and that's what we are... Although the successful part is still a ways off :)

Anyway, our thing is https://larder.io. Our angle is that we'll sync your github starred repos as bookmarks along with everything else you save.

What if the Web were filesystem-accessible?


There are some neat features described, but I don't see them to have much to do with the filesystem accessibility. I can see the advantages of using a standard interface for many kinds of sites, like social media, but the filesystem format is neither necessary nor sufficient for that (since it says nothing about the format of the actual files).

A filesystem is an abstraction to an information store which removes the underlying implementation details of accessing that store.

A filesystem is a CRUD (or BREAD) tool, based on standard metadata and interfaces. Part of that is making available extra and user-useful capabilities.

Another part of the problem is that the current concept of a browser, which lacks the idea of downloading-and-storing, on an accessible and persistent basis, online content, and emphasises application and interactive functions over document and reference capabilities, is ... something of a historical accident.

Why make use of some remote pinboarding or bookmarking feature if you've got a common URL referencing system, and the ability to capture, transform, rate/rank, search, and organise into a workflow, project, or support context the information you're accessing via the Web.

And to do that by way of tools which treat this as information-on-disk, either known and extant utilities, or extensions / wrappers / enhancements of these. Most specifically, by unwrapping online content from the browser context specifically.

This goes deep into principles of application, information, and interface design and use. I'm calling the extant model a dead duck.

I agree with your diagnosis of browsers and with the idea of using local tools that interact using standard CRUD interfaces, I just don't see the filesystem part buying you anything over HTTP, which provides all that. I think it's a useless distraction at best, and a fatal flaw at worst.

I also disagree that the app-ification was an historical accident; I think it's the direct result of economical forces, and I'm not convinced that an alternative system could become popular while avoiding it.

Economics forces shape historic accidents too. That's very much part of my model.

You might want to look through the inspirations part of the doc to see what's prompted this. I've also turned up a number of similar projects after having started writing that essay.


* The /proc and /sys filesystems on Linux

* The /net virtual filesystem on many Solaris systems, generally tying to an NFS network via automount.

* Various Plan 9 elements, including /webfs

* The Midnight Commander virtual filesystems, including remote access over ssh.


* Tools for on-demand and responsive media response. Tracking an element down to its source, and requesting, say, PDF or ePub rather than HTML might automatically provide those. The idea of being able to run, say, 'ls' on an HTML target and have it return a list of links rather than its full content.

* Unix mail, mailx, mutt, and especially mh, which provides a shell-based perspective to email management.

* Numerous document markup and preparation systems.

* Squid, dansguardian, Tor, and other Web proxy tools.

* Libraries and catalogs, generally.

* The Internet Archive.

* HTML doc "reader-mode" tools: Readability, Pocket, Instapaper, Outline.

* Search

Again: wiring much of this into the FS layer, abstracting away the browser, treating doc requests as queues, splitting up docs, media, apps, and commerce, integrating into the user's workflow rather than the publishers.

If it's not for you, that's fine. But that's where I'm coming from.

I can relate to a lot of your sentiments.

I'd like to share a project I've been working on, https://slushi.es

Tried Toby?

That has to be a joke by Maciej... right?!

Whatever you may think about delicious past/present, the brand name alone should be worth more than that. Than you add in the domain, the SEO juice that must still remain w/ a ton of delicious URLs, the free marketing that he's generated purely from this acquisition, and I could probably think of 5 other immediate wins that would justify that price.

If seriously just $35K, bravo!

Wow. The other day was a post about successful one-person companies and Pinboard was mentioned. Delicious was also in the time a successful one-person company and for me, it's the most emblematic 2.0 startup. It's a shame how big was the fall but I'm happy it's now in Maciej's hands.

When Delicious forgot to update the browser plugins I looked for a free version, but nothing was as good (and probably as future proof) as Pinboard and it's some of the best $9 (if I remember) deals I've made.

Old domains don't matter. He's not going to make 35k from this, at least not any time soon.

The fact that it's been through like four companies at this point and none felt they could make it valuable tells you a lot.

No, you're missing the point. Idlewords already has a business doing the EXACT SAME THING, So the domain itself doesn't matter, but the history of delicious and it's decade(?) of existence of SEO history, of backlinks, of blogs, articles writing about 'best bookmarking service' now can essentially be used to redirect to Pinboard.

And I'm sure, Pinboard has a super low run rate . So any additional revenue is likely straight to the bottom line.

Which means, he paid $35K for an immediate 500K new visits(?) to his business today? Plus the continual link and SEO juice he'll get from all future searches that people do for bookmarking service.

And just to note: searched "bookmarking service" . Top link from 2017 points to Delicious still ( no Pinboard ). Next 2 contain links to Delicious, hell even one that is talking about the death of Google's bookmarking service references Delicious.

What. A. Steal.

> Which means, he paid $35K for an immediate 500K new visits(?) to his business today?

And he only needs a little over 3,000 people to sign up to Pinboard to make it back. Assuming new visits of 500k, he only needs a conversion rate of 0.6% to do that.

"Old domains don't matter."

For SEO purposes they certainly do. The domain itself is worth $35k easy to people who know how to take advantage of that age.

> I just spoke to Pinboard founder Maciej Cegłowski. In a statement, he said “I am the greatest.”

That's a statement right there.

lol the statement makes itself true.

$35K is an insane deal. I wonder how he was able to swing that.

I can't stop laughing. After years of laughing at them, mocking them and generally just being a hilarious thorn in their side, he's bought them!

This is just the most fantastic thing I've read today and probably will be all week. Month, for that matter.

I also love his comment "I am the greatest!"

As a customer, yes, yes you are.

I've used Delicious for 12 years, with 10,000+ bookmarks in it. Delicious went up and down and was sold, I got nervous and got a Pinboard account as a backup, back when it was doing one-time charges, but inertia kept me in Delicious. The recent downtimes, plus the iOS app no longer working, and Pinboard extensions making saving links easy, pushed me over last month. I was frustrated that the Delicious export went away, so the Pinboard acquisition is going to be perfect for me.

> I've used Delicious for 12 years, with 10,000+ bookmarks in it

I've used it for 7.5 years with 22k+ bookmarks.

I stopped using it last year because of the downtimes as well.

> I was frustrated that the Delicious export went away

Too much load on their servers.

Instead of transferring, I simply made a simple bookmarker with similar functionality (allows importing) that I could self-host.

See https://github.com/dyu/bookmarks/ if interested.

Edited: export comment

Delicious export was broken long (years?) before the coming acquisition.

Fixing it seems to be on pinboard priority : https://twitter.com/Pinboard/status/870334621648654336 nice !

Yea I just read from the comments and updated my comment. It wasn't broken in the first half of last year (I was able to export)

Maciej, I'm guessing you now own the `icio.us` domain. Any plans for more subdomains?

I can see several opportunities:


That's just plain v.icio.us

What a meretr.icio.us idea!

Congrats to Maciej, I think! What a cool piece of internet history, and a storied brand, to have within your stable.

> Do not attempt to compete with Pinboard.

WTF? Is that a challenge? Expect me!

I believe it's humor. The Pinboard creator writes done very good stuff.

I think it is, I once saw a talk of him in front of the Congress Library (or something like this). He was humble and focused, and I love his product. Already saved >800 Bookmarks with Pinboard.

Bring it, enzyme face!

Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=345uegSj-zQ

I hope you're spending your day tweeting "YOU'RE NEXT" at Pocket.

Mozilla got there first

Still plenty of time for an "incredible journey" post by the new owners.

Time for Maciej to aim high, I suppose.

Back when del.icio.us got sold to Yahoo, I couldn't stand some of the changes they made (e.g. infinite scroll) and I wrote my own minimalist clone (http://www.savecrate.com)

It's basically remained unchanged since, with the exception of removing site previews a bit back for optimization purposes.

Always meant to rewrite & open source it, maybe now's the time...


Just open source it. Set it free!

You're definetly not the Spanish Inquisition then.

It's more like the Polish Acquisition.

If anyone wants to export their bookmarks and self-host, try [1]. It has the ability to import from both delicious and chrome.

I've used delicious since 2008 (~22k bookmarks) and stopped using it last year when it was sold to Delicious Media (it was becoming unreliable/unstable).

1. https://github.com/dyu/bookmarks/

Disclosure: I started the project

Edited: added timeline

I almost can't believe this isn't one of Maciej's snarky satirical posts, if only because there's no way he would do this with stock or debt and so it must be an all-cash transaction, and I didn't realize that he was either pulling in that much or Delicious was that desperate.

I signed up for an archival Pinboard account last weekend though, so maybe it was my $25 that put it over the top ;)

If the $35K figure is correct, many of us could write a check for that today (at least those of us whose entire six-figure salary isn't consumed by a SV mortgage). Even six figures would doable for the more frugal amongst us (though frugal I am personally not).

Hosting costs, OTOH...

He posts his earnings and costs every year-- it's not something you have to guess about.

He posts stats every anniversary; costs and earnings specifically are new to his 7th year.


Poor Delicious. They were a victim of web 2.0. Much like Digg.

Delicious vs Pinboard was basically Digg vs Reddit.

The one who focused on the basic core usecase over flashy features and modern/trendy design won.

This is an unfair and incorrect assessment. It's all situational and contextual. Reddit was pretty much seen as a copycat failure that sold to a large corp because they couldn't figure themselves out. It was only after Digg messed up on their own they enjoyed their run.

Pinboard is great, but it never competed against Delicious. In fact it came out long timer after people stopped using Delicious.

> Pinboard is great, but it never competed against Delicious. In fact it came out long timer after people stopped using Delicious.

It got a HUGE boost when the announcement of Delicious' sunsetting came out.

I remember the announcement and the huge exodus from delicious to pinboard. That's when I heard of pinboard first. The import feature was under heavy load and from what I remember it took a week(or couple of days? ) to import your bookmarks from delicious or was it from an exported file...

Here's the blog entry Maciej wrote about the exodus:


My favourite line comes from the tweet storm (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/12/the-small-exodus-from-...):

> "there are worse things than being DDOS'ed by people trying to give you money"

> Pinboard is great, but it never competed against Delicious.

I used both products from the early days of each and this is entirely false. Whether or not Delicious continued down the social bookmarking path in it's original incarnation doesn't mean they weren't competing.

I only completely switched from Delicious after their awful 'redesign' and still having an outstanding need for a cloud-based bookmarking service when Pinboard came around. Same with Digg/Reddit. I used both but ditched Digg when they did the misguided v3 relaunch, like everyone else.

> Reddit was pretty much seen as a copycat failure

[by whom ?] as they say over in en.wikipedia ...

Don't know the numbers, but Reddit always sported a more "in" crowd, who looked down on the Digg unwashed.

as an early reddit user, i saw it as "slashdot, but with a better comment engine". digg had more of the feel of a generic news aggregator, not really focused on the slashdot crowd at all; i checked it out briefly but was never really engaged by it.

  slashdot, but with a better comment engine
... but worse moderation. While rose-tinted glasses may be involved and /. never was Metafilter, if I had to design a community policing system today, Slashdot would be where I would start. Hot grids and all.

Presumably you meant "Hot grits"? Those and other things, like Natalie Portman, really take me back.

By the time pinboard was popular delicious was effectively dead. It was delicious that changed, Pinboard basically just took the interface and features it abandoned. They never really competed directly like Reddit and Digg.

> They never really competed directly like Reddit and Digg.

Even so that wasn't my core point here. The analogies between the two are still plentiful.

Digg didn't die because of Reddit's 'competition' either. Digg shot themselves in the foot while Reddit largely did nothing and won because of it.

Both Digg/Delicious made big mistakes by doing their social network era redesigns, while Pinboard and Reddit were built around simple designs and staying true to a core concept. That's the point.

> The one who focused on the basic core usecase over flashy features and modern/trendy design won.

Wouldn't call Delicious flashy or modern. The design is almost as brutalist as Pinboard. I don't like either.

No, I don't agree with that analogy at all. Yahoo bought Delicious and completely mismanaged it, even worse than they did with Flickr.

The original Delicious interface was simple and easy to use. Not quite as minimalist as Pinboard, but nowhere near the crap they released later.

Funny you mentioned reddit, reddit started off as social bookmarking, it's much like Delicious or https://pinboard.in/popular but with comments.

No, it didn't. It was a forum with voting.

In the early days, Delicious and Reddit were often talked about as being in the "social bookmarking" space since they both centered around sharing links with other people. Remember Reddit didn't even have comments for a long time! The distinction was in Delicious you tagged links, in Reddit you voted on links. I visited both regularly to get my social link fix.

I'm sure from your POV Reddit has always been an entirely different beast, but (and at the risk of teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs) as an early user of both I saw them as have a lot of similarity, both forging a similar and exciting new future of people collectively making the web more discoverable.

I actually tried to build a product which attempted to combine the best of both: a tool for communities to organize links. I still think there is room for something like that, but countless people have tried and none have taken off, so it seem it is way harder to get something like that to catch on than it seemed in those heady days of web 2.0.

You misremember. Digg said it was "social bookmarking" for a while which caused me no end of headache, but Reddit never did and I don't remember anyone ever talking about them in that context.

Neither Reddit nor Digg offered actual bookmarking, so if you thought they were similar to Delicious you didn't really understand the product.

> Even Yahoo, for whom mismanagement is usually effortless, had to work hard to keep Delicious down.

Man, I love Maciej's way with words.

I loved that line as well.

About a year ago I went into my Pocket and Pinboard archives and realized my collection had ballooned to well-over 10,000 items. Yet, I rarely, if ever, went back to dig up old links so I did a mass purging and closed my Pinboard account. I still use Pocket to save links I plan to read within a week, but I no longer archive anything and keep the list to < 10 items.

I'm not sure what the point of this comment was, but lately I've been thinking about physical vs digital hoarding and thought I would share.

This demonstrates that there is justice in the world. I love it.

Been using Pinboard since the strange pricing model. It is the only "cloud" service I use, and ever since I wrote some little utilities for searching the automated backup I keep from the command line, I actually mainly use the service because there are tools for easily adding to the store from the browser and an Iphone app.

In general, Pinboard is my idea of how a successful, solid internet service business looks. Find a niche, occupy it well enough that people want to give you money, and continually make it better for the users. (That last bit is important - Google used to be good for me as a user, but they've "improved" to the point that I don't want them in my life.)

Truly the end of an era. I'll miss Maciej's delicious Delicious bashing.

The hell makes you think he'll stop bashing it now that he owns it? I figure he'll bash it more, and in more detail, now that he has to deal with the code

I'm torn. On one hand, a couple years ago when delicious went down for over a week, I paid for an account at pinboard and haven't regretted it one bit. On the other hand, it is sad to see such an old brand mismanaged and unable to survive on its own. I have hope that it is in good hands though.

I wonder how much he paid for it. Last I heard he was making something like 250k per year. I would expect delicious to go for a few million at least. Did he buy it for a song, or did he get investors or funding?

I followed the saga, or rather the bits of it Maciej mentioned here and there, and I bet the price was not high. Basically the owner was bleeding money with shocking AWS charges, and was looking for a way out himself. I expect one of the reasons that it's going read-only so quickly is to turn off the saving/replicating machinery and cut bills. Once he does that, he can probably turn on export features again.

I wonder what is so wrong in delicious' backend that is so expensive to run. Maybe that's why Yahoo ditched it, for some reason it's a money pit...? Note how Maciej is explicitly saying he will never turn it back on, not even redirecting the api endpoints which should be trivial. There must be a reason for that.

I'll do a technical post about all this soon. The current Delicious hosting bill is around $2500/month, which is twice what Pinboard costs to run. Part of the problem is that the site is spread across a bunch of small servers, as a legacy of its days on AWS.

I expect "Export" to go away immediately and be replaced with "Migrate to Pinboard for $11/yr."

The blog post states the opposite, that export will be restored (the previous owner had turned it off). It also implies that the export will continue to be available for some time (the stuff about no time pressure).

I'd bet mid 5-figures at most. Why would a product that hasn't been relevant for a decade sell for millions?

Just because you say it's not relevant doesn't mean it doesn't still have plenty of users.

Couldn't find it on the site, but do you know how much a delicious subscription costs?

No clue, but I assume he wants to push all users (paid & free) to pinboard

Given the $35,000 price tag, the plan is to convert almost 0 users.

(something like 2000 out of millions of accounts would pay that off in a year or 2)

Sounds like a great deal

I'm curious about what people think Delicious is worth. I promise to tell all later.

$100,000 USD, but with a covenant in place to keep it running in read-only mode forever. $300,000 USD without the covenant.

(Assumes new owner takes over the $30,000/year hosting bill the moment the transaction completes. See Maciej's comment somewhere in the great-grandparent's thread with that number - $2500/month hosting).

Well, I'm way off. Purchase price was $35,000 USD - https://thenextweb.com/apps/2017/06/01/its-the-end-of-an-era...

> I just spoke to Pinboard founder Maciej Cegłowski. In a statement, he said “I am the greatest.” Ceglowski also confirmed the purchase price for del.icio.us, which was $35,000.

This is gold and yes sir you are pretty damn great! Good job.

I'd say about a late model Honda Accord in good condition worth.

250,000? That's is almost 22,000+ paid accounts. If that is correct, it is a pretty big achievement.

Maciej publishes a yearly progress statement [0] with revenues and costs included.


The website claims to have 25k users [1].

[1]: https://pinboard.in/tour/

I'm happy to be one of them. I honestly barely use it, but I had a ton of bookmarks at Delicious that I was uncomfortable about losing. $11/yr means they stick around, plus I do still stuff links in there every now and then.

The true number of accounts is probably higher since anyone who bought in before he switched to annual billing paid a one time charge.

I'd be interested in that too. But I don't think it's a big money. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't $1 since otherwise you have still-active users calling your support and consuming your time and money.

Congratulations, Maciej. This is way too funny. I'd love to hear the back story on how you ended up acquiring Delicious at some point.

I was a longtime Delicious user, but it really fell apart after the Yahoo acquisition. I'm happy to hear that it won't disappear.

I've recently switched to raindrop.io, which is an excellent replacement. Bookmarking serves two purposes for me:

1) It provides a way to record sites I don't visit often, which I hope I'll be able to find easily in the future if needed.

2) It provides me with easy access to the sites I visit regularly on all devices, without restricting me to a specific browser, and with an aesthetically pleasing and intuitive UI like Speed Dial


I want the record of these two kinds of pages to live in one place, and while Delicious and Pinboard were close, I felt that they never quite met that need.

Best product URL ever, http://del.icio.us

You will be missed.

It's cute, but I don't think it's good. I could never remember where the dots went.

I think that was the joke - you have to bookmark it in order to get to your bookmarking site.

just ahead of slashdot.org

They once deleted my account, because the email address stoped working and I forgot to change it. I thougth I'd had a backup, but then I realized it was without tags and comments. Since then I mistrust such services, better to store stuff on the own devices.

In my humble opinion, you learned the wrong lesson. The right lesson is "keep (and verify) regular backups", doesn't matter if it's a remote or local system. Obviously, if the remote service makes that hard, you probably shouldn't use it, but Pinboard isn't one of them.

My (pre-Yahoo) account also seems to no longer be working; was there a mandatory action that one had to take to transition to Yahoo?

Two posts made my day today: this one and the "Fuck Facebook" one.

Another should-have-been from the Web2.0 days which Yahoo screwed up.

Delicious should have become Pinterest

Flickr should have become Instagram

One thing I always wanted was a personal search engine for my Delicious link content (and Pocket saves).

That way, I would have able to just use that as external memory for those tip-of-the-tongue moments.

Pinboard does this. For crypto papers, I search Pinboard about as much as I search Google.

Try https://bubblehunt.com - it's search platform, where you can upload your bookmarks and get own search system with indexing, directories (if you need it and other cool things like privacy and so on)

Love the announcement. It is so clear, direct, and funny and makes almost anything written by a corporation sound weird and artificial.


> Do not attempt to compete with Pinboard.


When I abandoned Delicious, started using Diigo, and it still works fine [1]. Curious no one's mentioned it here. https://www.diigo.com/

Edit: [1]: fine, not great. It's got some weird usability flaws that someone thought would be either a good idea or just good lock-in. But they're mostly avoidable.

I noticed no one had mentioned diigo as well. I use it primarily for it's ability not just to save bookmarks, but to annotate the few sentences of a link that I want to recall. It's incredibly valuable over time to be able to search what I wanted to remember about a link.

Woohoo! Congrats, Maciej!

I was sad when Yahoo bought delicious 'cause I knew it was over. But Delicious was the first of its kind, and provided really good discovery. I dont understand why pinboard bought it. To preserve the bookmarks?

The financial justification was probably as a way of buying users:

> Users will have an opportunity to migrate their bookmarks to a Pinboard account, which costs $11/year.

It's also possible maciej wants to ~~do Machine Learning on the data~~, as they have "over a billion bookmarks", but that seems unlikely to me.

I'd bet the "real reason" truly was sentimental:

> Delicious ... is a fascinating piece of web history. ... I bought it in part so it wouldn’t disappear from the web.

>It's also possible maciej wants to ~~do Machine Learning on the data~~,

Excuse me? "Unlikely"? Understatement of the thread.

And I wouldn't describe that sentence as a sentimental motivation, but rather an _archival_ motivation. Preserve your history or it will be lost.

Yeah, that's what the blog post said.

> Delicious has over a billion bookmarks and is a fascinating piece of web history. […] I bought it in part so it wouldn’t disappear from the web.

I'm still confused as to why it's valuable.

Probably for the same reason that the Internet Archive decided to thoroughly archive all of GeoCities when that closed. People tend to like preserving what they view as being important history.

Also, not wanting a billion bookmarks to vanish is a good reason. Plus I'm sure he can convert a bunch of former Delicious users over to Pinboard simply by operating the service.

Considering it was sold for $35k the value is not high in monetary terms, but there are other kinds of value.

It sounds like from the post he's not thinking about it in monetary value.

> I bought it in part so it wouldn’t disappear from the web.

Sadly that ship partly sailed when Yahoo dumped it; a huge proportion of the accounts never got exported including ones who explicitly consented to the transfer.

I don't know anybody who stayed with it after that

Might be worth noting Pinboard has a history with YC and HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11633278

Also "The Pinboard Investment Co-Prosperity Cloud" https://static.pinboard.in/prosperity_cloud.htm

Random question to Maciej: looking at https://static.pinboard.in/prosperity_cloud.htm, did anyone apply/win?

Maciej, when you finally tame this site, can I email you and see if my old bookmarks are lurking around in there? I've got over 9000 and I have exported them before but somehow all the tags were lost.

Sure. Note though that if they predate the Avos sale, they're likely gone unless you opted in.

In my mind I don't bookmark pages as much as sentences or passages from a bookmark which I then go search for, either by keyword or string.

I am a heavy user of Diigo for it's annotation/highlighting feature for that reason. I pretty much can't read or surf online without it.


Is there any plan to add this type of feature to Pinboard? Pinboard seems much simpler and more performant and I'd love to have an alternative/backup.

BTW: Which Chrome extension do you use to save links? It seems that there are a few different ones.

(For me it's Pinboard Plus, but occasionally it fails.)

Maybe take a look at Shiori (https://aki-null.net/shiori/). It's more of a stand alone app rather than a Chrome Extension but the well crafted solution (afaik works with chrome and safari) combines pretty much all needed features. Basically use it on a daily basis for the saving process although I have to say that I prefer Alfred App scripts to access the bookmarks on my Mac.

I've been using Pinput for Pinboard and have been very happy with it:


I use the bookmarklet. No overhead, plain simple.

This is amazing. One-man operation defeats venture capital backed product. I wonder how many paying users does pinboard have?

absolutely love pinboard - but it has some cookie timeout thing that I need to log back in more often than I should

also, well played Maciej

Congrats! this is excellent news, and simply, well, excellent.

Awaiting the news regarding Bed Bug Registry vs booking.com

Recently found this list of 150+ alternative (social) bookmarking services: https://tagpacker.com/user/social.bookmarking.tools

Finally, I moved my bookmarks to TagPacker.

https://blog.pinboard.in/2017/06/pinboard_acquires_delicious... "If you’re a Delicious user, you will have to find another place to save your bookmarks. The site will stay online. but on June 15, I will put Delicious into read-only mode. You won't be able to save new bookmarks after that date, or use the API." https://del.icio.us/export "We're sorry, but due to heavy load on our database we are no longer able to offer an export function. Our engineers are working on this and we will restore it as soon as possible."

If you read further…

"Those who prefer to bookmark elsewhere will be able to export their data once I fix the export link, which was disabled some months ago for peformance reasons.

Please note that there is no time pressure for moving off Delicious."

That's probably some cruft from the previous owners. Considering Maciej's vocal commitment to an open web, I'm sure he'll be implementing a functional export and direct port-to-pinboard soon. This announcement does seem oddly slapdash, though....why not wait a few weeks to announce once this stuff is in place?

Also from the blog post:

Those who prefer to bookmark elsewhere will be able to export their data once I fix the export link, which was disabled some months ago for peformance reasons.

The RSS feed URLs have been 404ing as well for at least two months.

If you aren't familiar with Maciej Cegłowski, the creator and owner of Pinboard, his Twitter feed is worth a follow. He has an excellent sense of humor and timely snark.


His speeches (posted on his blog) are great too.

I'd think/hope that the ultimate resting place of services that have “a fascinating piece of web history” is with the Internet Archive or similar, as an alternative to orphaning a bunch of links.

> Do not attempt to compete with Pinboard.

that made me laugh! OH NOES ITS A MONORPOLY!!11

I remember being very passionate about "folksonomy", tag clouds, microformats and things related to the delicious community. I wonder if that lived on on some corner of the Internet.

That's why Maciej wasn't replying to any e-mails recently! Who knows. Maybe "Delicious under new management" will NOT be a "slowest growing unicorn"

I am having a hard time understanding why this purchase makes sense, unless one simply wanted to resell the domain name. Pinboard, to me, is more valuable than Delicious is.

The seo juice Pinboard can get with a simple redirection, alone, is worth much more than $35k.

Okay, that makes some sense. Thanks.

TIL Delicious hadn't already been killed by Yahoo!

All kidding aside though they were one of the first to have a really cool domain name. It will always be del.icio.us to me.

How do I export my bookmarks out of Delicious? Option to do that has been removed :(

What happened to the delicious.com domain? Is that included in the sale?

Will users be able to delete their data like Delicious used to let them?

I rarely accessed any of my 5,000 bookmarks anyway.

Next acquisition target should be Instapaper.

They are owned by Pinterest, so unlikely.

I had no idea delicious was still around.

Best acquisition letter ever written.

How much do you think it cost em?

This makes me happy. So happy.

Two thumbs up.

Keep doing what you were doing, Pinboard, do not ever buy into the argument that changed Delicious from what it was.

I think Pinboard should totally sell out if someone offers $20 million.

It's $20 million!

For the record, Tarsnap has no plans to acquire Dropbox.

hahaha.. if that were to happen

Next Story: Tarsnap promptly migrates Dropbox to FreeBSD

What about box?

If they offered you the name for $35k you'd be a fool not to buy it!!!

What about Crashplan or Backblaze? :D

The coup de grace.

TL/DR: Do not attempt to compete with Pinboard

Or like don't ruin a perfectly good site trying to chase Digg or whatever the hell Yahoo was chasing.'

If Yahoo had taken del.icio.us circa 2005 and never changed a thing, Pinboard doesn't even exist. They destroyed their own userbase trying to chase markets.

This actually wants to make me compete with them more. Challenge accepted


dude, don't tempt me. I swear I'll do just as soon as I finish reading my book on how to fight chronic procrastination.

KNTM.org ;)

This is the greatest thing I've read in a while.

> Do not attempt to compete with Pinboard.

Wha... not sure if he's letting the success get to his head, or he is actually trying to ward off competitors. Real innovative people are motivated by challenges like this so he's gonna have to eat his hat for saying that.

not sure if he's letting the success get to his head, or he is actually trying to ward off competitors

Have you considered the possibility that he's using some humor to point out the fate of all the much-better-funded but now-defunct competitors that a typical HN commenter would've expected to crush Pinboard and win the market?

…I think he was joking that Pinboard is still around.


I mean, fair enough, but honestly I'm guessing he doesn't care.

I care, I just don't think I understand.

Delicious! I thought they were already DEAD, and I wish they were. They messed up my bookmarks once so badly that I really want them out of business.

Ah, and I don't give a damn about Pinboard or Google Bookmarks either.

I only use Pocket.

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