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Yahoo is Shutting Down Del.icio.us (techcrunch.com)
486 points by jmorin007 on Dec 16, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 293 comments

Please, Yahoo, distribute the final public-facing database for free. There are millions of links organized in there and it's an incredibly useful repository. If that data is lost, we just lost thousands of man years of tagging the Web.

I would prefer "Please Google, buy delicious for some amount and run it as-is." They would get so much love.

Unfortunately someone would raise a privacy stink just like they did for the netflix prize data and the aol search data. This is why we can't have nice things.

But Delicious's database is already public (if you take out private fields on the user table and the private links). Even just the links + tags without any user info would rock for semantic Web usage.

It's public right now. It won't be once Yahoo pulls the plug on Delicious.

User-agent: * Disallow: /

I don't remember the robots.txt rules for sure, but doesn't that mean they don't allow crawlers at all?

That's the rule for crawlers that aren't Slurp, Googlebot, Teoma, or msnbot.

I noticed the extra rules, but I am neither Slurp, Googlebot, Teoma nor msnbot :-(

robots.txt is merely a suggestion.

It's public data! You could scrape and index it now for free if you wanted...

They even throttle the friendfeed scraper which graciously pulls all its users data at once.

You can't write a simple scraper that is not distributed in 100 of machines across the web to pull out their data.

I heard that there is this thing called "the cloud" where you can rent services based on the work time. That makes cheapo servers both realistic and quite simple ;)

Actually I just noticed you get 750h of free micro instance time from aws... I wonder if it would be worth doing. I imagine the link+tags are <100GB in total.

Though I've noticed only pages up to 200 work when going back through history.. this only gets you a few days back on the most popular tags.

Sure, but user pages go back farther than that...

"... It's public data! You could scrape and index it now for free ..."

That is the most insightful thing I've read today.

or get the founders to take it over

The writing has been on the wall for delicious for years. They never made any money, never found mainstream adoption, never made use of the enormous flow of user sharing data they were getting to do anything interesting. They have been operating on a skeleton crew for years. Such a shame.

never made use of the enormous flow of user sharing data they were getting to do anything interesting.

It's a shame they didn't, because many of us users sure did/do. By virtue of its popularity and simplicity, you could know almost every page with any merit was in its system and tagged, making it easy to discover stuff you hadn't even bookmarked yet.

Example: Want a good Python tutorial about threads? http://www.delicious.com/tag/python+threads+tutorial - You can pretty much pull things out of your ass and constantly find gold on there. Yahoo has no spine.

If only Yahoo had a search engine that could have made use of this data.

Everyone loves to say "Delicious tags are great data for finding relevant information," but I'm not so sure -- at least for doing keyword queries, compared to web search engines. The right comparison is: is Delicious tagging really better than anchor text from the general Web? "Anchor text" means, the text in or near links pointing to the page. It's like an implicit noisy tagging system the Web provides (if you have a good crawl of it). It's a key component in web search. For example, if you Google for "python threads tutorial" you find nice stuff too.

I did hear a second-hand story about Yahoo web search, for what it's worth. When the Delicious acquisition happened, of course they were super excited for this very reason -- that Delicious should constitute a high-quality dataset (that Google didn't have!) Then they tried all sorts of things to incorporate it into their relevance ranking algorithm, but never could get it to work. I personally think Yahoo search had good relevance algorithm people, and therefore, if you believe this story, that Delicious data is not useful for web search relevance.

So I understand this story might be hard for others to verify. But I think it's reasonable to assume that if the data really was valuable, they would have used it for web search, and someone would have bragged about it at some point -- especially given the large amount of interest from the wider developer and computer science community about how potentially useful the Delicious dataset should be.

The search feature you note is by far my favorite part. Finding good resources on very specific topics can be really hard using google, but delicious has always been an incredibly accurate source for those.

So true. Delicious would always be my go-to place for anything I ever wanted to know about Oracle. For years I'd search delicious before even searching google or metalink. It's a shame that this is being closed.

I so agree. Delicious is one of the most interesting datasets on the internet for precisely the reason you cited: it includes nearly every web page of value that exists, all tagged and linked in endlessly rich ways. I still use Delicious nearly every day for this reason -- despite how slow it is and how badly Yahoo messed it up -- yet I've only ever scratched its surface. There's so much that could be done with it in the right hands. It pains me to think of it going away. Actually, it's tragic.

Why don't they spin it off into a startup? Just open-sourcing the code would be useless and even the data wouldn't hold its value for very long without the application and community continuing. But a startup would have a fighting chance to do something great with it.

Surely Yahoo can tap this value in their search?

Yahoo doesn't have search anymore. They subcontract to Bing.

Besides, using delicious data would be far too open to SEO abuse.

They can do what duck duck go does and alter the search results or provide extra info. I agree about the abuse, but linking it to your own delicious account or some algorithm for weighing things that is already used for webpages can surely solve that.

Has Duck Duck Go considered directly using social bookmarking sites' informations in their hodge podge of ranking information?

>Yahoo has no spine

Yahoo has no vision, and now they are too busy chasing their own tails with respect to all the bad press they are getting surrounding their layoffs, lack of technology and utter failure in trending technology.

Technology has never been yahoo's problem, they might have more technology than facebook and twitter combined. They had morons running the company for the last 10 years like Terry Semel, Jerry Yang and now Carol Bartz.

I understand turn arounds take time but such decisions are going to lead to nowhere.

Understood, I was referring to their effectual announcement of defeat by dropping any Yahoo search technology in place of BING.

Sure, they have and had technology - yet their utter failure in vision and management has resulted in them losing an understanding / ability to use their tech.

Hmm. OK, I finally 'get' delicious, thanks to that link. That's substantially more powerful and useful than a typical search-results page from Google.

Late to the party as usual...

Edit: Wow. Someone has to take this private. This is one hell of a valuable database. Yahoo must be staffed by gorillas if they're throwing away this kind of data.

the system was actually quite a bit larger than they ever talked about. millions of users, etc.

Now that they're shutting it down, I would love to hear your thoughts as founder on why delicious didn't live up to its potential.

Delicious lived up to its founders' potential when it was acquired for millions.

that's ridiculous. potential of the company is not about who owns the stock or how much cash changed hands in the process.

having been part of one particular exit I know all too well that startup founders and ex-employees have deep emotional connection to their former company, no matter how much they got for it.

I've gotten the impression it was pretty badly mismanaged by Yahoo after acquisition. Any failure is squarely on Yahoo's shoulders AFAIK.

Andy Baio was recently on Dan Benjamin's show The Pipeline and he spoke a bit about upcoming.org's acquisition. I believe he described the support he got as underwhelming. Basically you go in, meet with a bunch of groups and then are left by yourself wondering what you're supposed to do.


Just because Yahoo's expectation$ weren't met doesn't mean delicious didn't live up to its potential. Many people got accustomed to use it as a search engine and it fulfilled its purpose quite nicely. Imagine if facebook couldn't figure out a way to make money, would it then be considered a failure even though millions of people find it useful?

> Imagine if facebook couldn't figure out a way to make money, would it then be considered a failure even though millions of people find it useful?

Depends on who you are. To the investors, that would be a failure. To the people that find it useful, it wouldn't be a failure until it disappeared or otherwise ceased to be of use.

By the time that Chris Yeh http://twitter.com/cbyeh ran Delicious into the ground (and convinced management to nuke it rather than take any blame) the site had far fewer than 1,000,000 active users. Many more had registered but far few had logged in within the past year.

If Yahoo is actually shutting it down, would you want to buy it back from them?

He wouldn't want to buy it for a price they acquired it at or more.

He can't offer them a price that is lower than that.

It wouldn't take that much more effort to build the whole thing all over again, anyway.

Yahoo is shutting it down, ergo their perceived value is significantly lower to justify that decision..

This has mentioned many times over the years, but looking at the slide, I see they were maintaining both del.icio.us and Yahoo! Bookmarks to the end.

The outcome is not entirely surprising.

My mom knows what delicious is. That's pretty mainstream in my book.

We don't know your mom, so that doesn't really contribute anything to the discussion. What's she like? What's the most mainstream web site she doesn't know about?

Fail. Kill a product which used to be best in its own niche and which provided valuable data for free... I just don't understand...

emphasis on free.

  curl https://{your username}:{your password}@api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/all > bookmarks.xml

Thanks for adding the space in front of the command -- that keeps this command out of the bash history.

If you don't have curl installed (e.g. Windows machine), simply type the link: https://{your username}:{your password}@api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/all on your address bar, and use "Save As" to store the resulting XML file. If you see just a blank page (e.g. in Chrome), select "View Source" first, then save the text.

If your security setting blocks using the http://login:pwd@... format, just login to the site and use the link without the login info.

(You can also use wget instead of curl as an alternative.)

Wouldn't be neat that somebody offered to backup this information? They can have something like "donate your bookmarks" and I'll upload my full export.

The ArchiveTeam would probably be interested in this: http://archiveteam.org/

Be even better if someone would make a torrent out of it all.

Settings -> Export / Backup Bookmarks

Note: this exports as HTML. The XML export is arguably more useful.

That's not just HTML -- it's the Netscape Bookmark File Format. There are (admittedly very old) tools that can work with it.

Both are very useful. The HTML export is in a standard format importable by browsers and other bookmarking services.

I wrote a quick webapp to help ppl export links (for the command line skittish): http://mattcrampton.com/delicious

Yay for REST. Thank you Ixiaus.

Noooo! I love delicious and am using it daily, it's one of the reasons I don't completely switch to Chrome (since the plugin is not as good as the Firefox one). OK, time to dire off the API and suck off all the bookmarks.

Where should I put all my bookmarks? What other bookmark service has a nice browser plugin, APIs, etc?

After this I'm also convinced that Yahoo is hopeless.

http://pinboard.in aims to be a Delicious replacement and has an interesting payment model.

I've had a del.icio.us account since the beginning in 2003 and migrated to Pinboard last year. It's a worthy replacement and everything Delicious should have been, with something approximating the UX from the older service. And Maciej and pvg are very responsive on Twitter.

I'll second that. I've been super happy with pinboard. They personally helped me track down some technical problems I had importing my delicious, and haven't looked back.

Hey, thanks! I'm really glad you like the service.

The payment model is @joshu's idea

Another vote for Pinboard. Been using it for some months now and I love the minimalism. I've had one occasion to contact support and my issue was very promptly addressed. Highly recommended.

@idlewords: just make sure you're ready for the possible flood of new users. :)

I've been using pinboard for about 9 months and I promote it every chance I get. Love this service.

I haven't tried it yet, but people say good things about http://historio.us/

The founder is on HN:


I upgraded to a paid Historious account a couple of days ago and I just imported all of my 4000+ bookmarks from Delicious. What drew me to historio.us was the caching: I love the fact that all my bookmarks are cached.(1) Lately I've been trying to cut down on the information I consume so the lack of 'social' features doesn't really bother me -- right now I'm more interested in retaining the stuff that I've already bookmarked than in finding new stuff to read.

(1) It looks like pinboard.in has the same function for about the same yearly price.

We do have the same feature, but unlike historious we actually store the bookmark content. See http://pinboard.in/blog/153/

At historious, this is a core feature (you don't have to pay to get it). Even for the free accounts, every single bookmark will be cached with the optional ability to be published for your reference (the URL never changes, so you can give it to people).

By the way, use this referral link (or any of your friends') to get 100 extra bookmarks:


You can do it yourself, in turn, to raise the limit up to 2000.

Cool, thanks!

This might be bad timing, but I finally discovered a Chrome extension that's basically there- Chromicious (https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/animchmhhndbcfah...)

I absolutely _need_ a viable delicious alternative, too. xMarks looks like the closest bet, but their UI isn't intuitive and it's coated in ugly.

Arg, going over the alternatives in this thread and on the web, I fear the actual loss of delicious is its useful dataset.

With so many competing products vying to take its place, it will probably be a while before a de facto bookmarking service comes along and gathers a userbase large enough to be useful and years beyond that for that userbase to build the data to a point that approaches what we had with delicious.

Maybe some sort of anonymized delicious data export would be possible?

Depending on what you use in delicious, pinboard.in may be a good replacement. It has all the things from delicious I used, none of the things I didn't, and a few other cool features (like saving notes directly, rather my my system of saving pastebins).

Mr Wong is similar to delicious and once allowed you to import delicious exports. It has grown "bigger" since I last visited the site (a couple of years ago) though and I don't know if it is any good in its present state.

It seems a bit crazy that they're shutting down services like delicious and especially Uproar (which is actually in a growth market!).

I'd be shocked if there aren't other tech companies interested in buying the tech, the userbase and the employees (who've just be made redundant presumably at some expense).

What's the justification to shareholders to shutting down as opposed to selling ?

Tax writeoffs, I'd assume. And perhaps the long term possibility of a more innovative owner taking advantage of Delicious' neglected potential and making Yahoo look incompetent would be even more damaging than just admitting the service doesn't make any money.

I find it hard to believe that Delicious would have no value to anyone at a fire-sale price.

Ideas and startup goes to Yahoo to die.

Not just Yahoo: http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/14/dont-buy-th...

"Big established companies with their own revenue streams simply don’t have the skillset needed to be the next Y Combinator"

Of course, insofar as YC depends on acquisition, there's a problem there too.

Which is exactly why Groupon wisely backed away from a deal with Yahoo.

Considering they also rejected Google's offer, I'd say there was more to it than Yahoo's past failures.

You are right. However, I don't think Yahoo's track record in integrating acquired companies helped them at all. Google is perceived as an innovative company where Yahoo seems to follow the leader.

Yahoo cares about products that make revenue, which is why it is dropping things like delicious. I think Groupon would have had a different priority within the company.

I personally believe that without big players like Yahoo!, many ideas would not become startups because there'd be no exit strategy nor funding.

@pavs - Where do you work that's better? What ideas have come out of it that are even worthy of having a Hacker News thread? What products do you work on that people love so much they're distraught with a mention of them not existing? Link me, :D.

I have to work somewhere better in order for me to criticize a sinkhole that is yahoo? What kind of argument is that? If you must know, I am self employed.

> I personally believe that without big players like Yahoo!, many ideas would not become startups because there'd be no exit strategy nor funding.

That has nothing to do with anything I have said.

I wish I could upvote your first paragraph and downvote your second paragraph.

Delicious is a black hole for me. I have 95 bookmarks, and once something is bookmarked with it, I never visit it later. Is this unique to me?

I have 5919 bookmarks in there. But.. of course, it's just structured data, I could import it to other services and use it fine.

The real loss here is how you can use it to analyze other people's bookmarks. Almost every page of any merit is tagged and in their system, just because Delicious is/was the biggest game in town.

Wanna find HN links about Java? Try http://www.delicious.com/tag/hn+java .. want a tutorial about making a game in Ruby? http://www.delicious.com/tag/ruby+tutorial+game .. This is absurdly useful even though so few people know about it. It's been my secret weapon for 6 years now because I've always been able to find anything I could even partially remember just by coming up with the tags that might describe it :-(

The other loss is how you can use it to discover other people interested in the same incredibly esoteric things as you. It was a like an asynchronous, organized version of twitter, 3? years early.

Delicious as a search engine is far superior to google for many types of content.

Delicious is my bookmarking mechanism. I use it probably 20 times per day. Bummer about this.

Same here. Instapaper is another one but I visit it once in a blue moon.

I was in the same group as you guys but lately I've started using Instapaper's Kindle export feature to read long articles (NYT, etc) on my Kindle. It's a really good experience. Try it out.

There are a few starting points for solving the black hole problem. It's amazing how much Yahoo allowed it to atrophy.

I use mine to keep track of tech links mostly. I do refer back when I need to find something I know I've bookmarked, especially if I can't remember how to Google for it.

I find this happening to myself as well. I think it's the nature of tags vs a more visual paradigm.


Can you not get it back from them? Christmas gift to the world?

I read your interview in Founders at Work a few years back, while I was a quant at a Morgan Stanley trading desk. Your story was so inspiring. I look forward to what you come out with next.

Thank you for making it trivial to get my bookmarks out.

Sorry Josh, it's them not you.

So sorry to hear this, but maybe this could open up new opportunities in the bookmarking market. To quote Seneca: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

You can't trust Yahoo! with your data or anything. They can shut-down anything.. anytime. Remember Geocitites?

Well there goes months' (nights & weekends) worth of iOS side project work down the drain. I have a very large delicious bookmark collection that I was still posting to as of this week.

Does anyone know if delicious' demise affects pinboard's API service in any way? Since pinboard's API documentation just links to delicious, now would be a good time to archive the delicious API documentation.

It's been a busy day over here.

It's a sad day to see an internet icon go down, but congrats to you and the pinboard team. I finally made the leap.

I bet. I looked at signing up, but the password field is plain text. What's up w/ that?

It's pale plain text at password creation time, and regular password dots when you login. Saves having to have a 'confirm password' box.

I've been a huge fan of you for years, I've read almost everything you've written online a couple times over, and I'm asking you to please stop listening to Jakob Nielsen. Please.

The most fundamental kernel of usability is "does what I expect", and everybody expects password masking everywhere. Everybody expects to type their password twice to register and once to login (the only fundamental distinction!). Everybody is extraordinarily habituated to typing their passwords blind, it's of absolutely no use to display them.

Really, the minimum result you get is that people take longer to sign up because they pause to be infuriated at your design decision.

Don't try to redefine a fundamental UI component that has a universally consistent implementation and is totally orthogonal to the innovative bits of your app. Seriously, stop being an asshole and always use <input type=password> for user-chosen secrets.

Try http://historio.us/, we have a password confirmation field!

Aaand that is one sentence I thought I'd never get to utter. Seriously though, pinboard is great too, and closer to the functionality of delicious. It's mostly a matter of preference.

And instead makes me feel uncomfortable storing my data with you. Doesn't seem like a worthwhile tradeoff

It surprised me, but then I went "huh, that makes sense" and continued on.

Guess I'm the odd one out.

It still caused you to pause and slowed down your experience though.

Have you tested whether it leads to more or less sign ups?

Sorry, after seeing this I didn't sign up. Might seem petty and I realize that the plain text field is sent the same as a password field, but at least maybe change the sign up page to use your secure site by default. Doesn't look like you had a bad day of business though.

This also prevents the pwdhash plugin I have installed from working. I agree with the other commenters - this is a bad design decision. Don't make things inconsistent and arbitrary, please.

Yup, "The service is not available. Please try again later."

We've been trying to figure that one out. No connection problems for the vast majority of people, but there are a couple who report this

It happened to me the first time I tried to look at pinboard today. I'm on a satellite modem out in the middle of nowhere -- maybe a latency bug? Problem was gone when I tried a little later.

I can confirm that I ran into this too. Went back to the homepage and tried again, worked.

Time to back up those flickr photos.

Yahoo has actually put their full weight behind Flickr -- they even shut down their original Yahoo Photos site while Flickr was still smaller and forced the users to migrate or leave!

The product has improved significantly over the years, especially after the founders left and Yahoo was able to roll back some of the idiotic policy decisions that they'd previously set in stone.

It used to be that if you posted any pictures not taken with a physical camera, your account would be hellbanned, using the same moderation mechanism (NIPSA) used for people posting porn, and Yahoo has eliminated the practice. The site used to be terrible for actually browsing through photos because the founders still considered it to be primarily a social site and not a photo sharing site (it was originally a MMO called Game NeverEnding), and now Yahoo has ajaxified the photo pages for clicking through photos and finally boosted the default display size to be bigger than 400px. The founders said absolutely no to the idea of ever hosting digicam video clips, and now that they're all gone, Yahoo implemented 'long photos'.

Flickr is proof that Yahoo doesn't fuck everything up.

Are there any photo services offering an import from Flickr? I imagine it would be good business to offer one, playing to the fear of a complete Yahoo implosion. Although I admit it's highly unlikely Flickr will go the way of Delicious

Someone will buy Flickr in the event of a total Yahoo! implosion.

I'd settle for a well-written perl/python script.

Flickr at least has a decent revenue stream - http://www.zitzsolutions.com/2009/08/19/social-media-website...

The link is 1.5 years old, but (IMHO, and anecdotal) Flickr's growth has been steady since about then.

Where's the best place to migrate all of your Del.icio.us bookmarks?

I switched to Pinboard (http://pinboard.in) in April and I highly recommend it. It's not free, but it's well worth looking at. (The pricing is a one-time fee that climbs as the site grows. It's currently $6.89. There's also a service to archive your bookmarks, but I haven't tried that. That's $25 a year currently.)

Here's their (probably about to be updated) "Should you switch from Delicious?" page: http://pinboard.in/switch/

Seconded. I've been a happy Pinboard user since the service launched. Haven't had any trouble.

This has to be great news for Pinboard - I'm not sure how much they raise the price with each purchase, but less than 30 minutes later and the current price is already $6.92.

Edit: 7 minutes later it's now $6.94

It's 1/10 of a cent. So $6.94 means there are 6,940 people using it.

http://pinboard.in/help/fee/ (normally in a "why?" popup when you would make a new account)

I've been seeing service unavailable pages every few times I load pinboard. I wonder how their infrastructure will handle this unexpected surge.

So far it's holding up (about 40 hps) but we seem to be getting these intermittent connection drops. Waiting for things to calm down a bit before we start monkeying with configuration.

It goes up a penny every 10 users (see here: http://pinboard.in/help/fee/)

Right now it's 6.97, so at least 50 signups since the parent (~$350 in revenue in 20 minutes)

It's number of users * $0.001.

I just paid $7.02, and after that it became $7.03. Now it makes sense.

I'm paying 7.22.

Office pool: predict the price at GMT 00:00 tonight.


They're going to have to cap it at some point, because it will become prohibitive. At 500,000 users it would be $500 to sign up.

It's economies of scale reversed, normally you'd expect the price for everybody to go down over time, not up.

Wonder what the way is that is justified to the end users.

In order to arrive at economies of scale, you have to first provide for the expenses of ramp-up. So far, admission is nominal for the value its payers perceive. Plotting growth against current cost should give a pretty good forecast of how much is too much. Of course, under the current special circumstances, we could even see a freeze.

The price should begin to reduce itself with a function of rate of signups.

It's $7.37 now. But it doesn't matter how much they charge because I will never be using their service, anyway.

Hmm, why is that?

Pinboard is a service I've been wanting to purchase for years, but I never have because of how I've seen pvg (one of the founders) act on HN. The anti-hive mind attitude is desperately needed, but it's not a blanket license to disagree with everything without so much as a critical thought. I'm still trying to decide whether this is petty of me because it seems to be a really well done service.

I just signed up to pinboard. Importing all my delicious bookmarks now.

Since the "it's not free but..." angle has already been played I'll add to kqr2's question...

Where are the best free places to migrate all of your Delicious bookmarks?


OK, at a minimum you can go here: https://secure.delicious.com/settings/bookmarks/export and download your entire collection (importantly... with tags). This will at least preserve your content and, since I think many of us on HN are of the technical sort, permit you to scrape the data at your leisure. You get a massive (well, in my case) definition list of elements with the following included as attributes on the item's anchor tag: the url, the add date (ADD_DATE=) the private status of the link (PRIVATE=) and the tags (TAGS=). You also get a text description. Very nice!

http://historio.us/ is free (if you have fewer than 300 bookmarks). I don't think you'll find a totally free solution, as that's basically why delicious is closing :(

Most of these sites have some free service: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_bookmarking_webs...

Yep, but I said "totally free", as in no paid plans.

Chrome has free bookmark syncing built in. There's also the Xmarks plugin if you don't want to be tied to a specific browser.

I'm VERY happy with Xmarks - esp. the cross-browser synching (i.e. all bookmarks are both local and in the cloud, and available in any browser).

I was also happy to pay for the service following the LastPass acquisition.

It works for me because I don't tag. Instead, I have a stable set of folders into which bookmarks get sorted. At this point, if something doesn't fit one of these categories, it's probably not relevant to me.

Weren't Xmarks shutting down too?

They have been acquired by LastPass: http://blog.xmarks.com/?p=2033

You could try http://www.favilous.com - I know the founders and they are in the process of building an importer for Delicious bookmarks. They originally launched back in January on HN - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1060022.

If you're looking for a somewhat different paradigm, try http://historio.us/. It's a search engine for bookmarks, so you can search in the entire content of the page instead of browse the titles.

You can also use something like Shorty (http://get-shorty.com) to store your bookmarks on your own server.

That being said, I also really like Pinboard :)

Just use chrome or firefox with the syncing feature.

I imported mine to Evernote a while back. They have an import from delicious tool.

Just went looking for this and couldn't find anything. Pointers?


Note: imports all to one note so not the ideal.

They discontinued the delicious import tool for some reason -- some technical reason from what I understand.

However, if you apply for an API key, there are scripts out there that can parse the delicious export and import into Evernote, including tags. Google for 'delicious export evernote script'.

Is this still under development? The last blog post was in March 2010 and the website still says "beta".

I just found www.diigo.com which I'm trying out.

Any idea on how much money Yahoo's actually losing by just running Delicious?

Side note: I've always wondered why Yahoo hasn't tapped into the vast amount of good data that is Delicious to supplement and improve their search engine? Talk about having access to a firehose.

Side side note: Seriously, what company does layoffs a week before Christmas!?

Besides the Christmas timing, Yahoo quite recently upgraded the Delicious servers. Apart from whatever capital expense was involved, the occupation of the Delicious team in implementing the migration might have left them with the impression that they had a future. It's impossible to know in a corporation who knows what and who's blowing smoke for the company. Still, the tenor of pre-layoff comments from the team in their unusually candid support forum suggests that at least some of them were totally blindsided.

Yahoo :(

Damn, I wish I had the money to make Yahoo an offer. I worked on a service in 2005 that was suppose to compete with del.icio.us, but our service never got off the ground. I've always admired the basic idea of del.icio.us, and I think there are a million interesting things that could be done with that site. Surely if Yahoo is shutting it down, they'd also be willing to sell it cheap? I wonder how cheap?

Hackernews weekend project? PG and his money, users and their skills :p

Yahoo could consider charging a basic fee. I might readily pay $5-10/Year for delicious. Actually I find delicious much more useful than FB or Twitter for my own needs, and it seems many more delicious users are like me.

Hell, I would make Yahoo an offer. Or I'd syndicate with other HN readers. Anyone game? Anyone know who at Yahoo to sell this to?

My initial thought would be something along the lines of a 20% profit share for the next three years, guarantee at least $2M over that term, 5% equity in the new firm.

One reason I don't sign up with every new startup that comes along--even if they're innovative and helpful and better than the competition--is that I don't want to invest time in something that could fail. And every time I see a web service fail, even if it was no longer a startup, I lose hope that good services can last. Seeing this, for example, I'm not likely to put stock in an online bookmarking startup any time soon.

It seems to me like this is one way that the failure of large companies can lead to the failure of unrelated startups. And it sucks.

So how do you decide what to sign up for?

It varies. I'd be lying if I said mood wasn't involved. But I ask questions like:

  1. How responsive are the startup founders when I e-mail
     them about problems?

  2. How portable is the work I'm going to put into the 
     site? Data portability is actually probably my number 
     1 concern.

  3. Does the service give me value that I couldn't 
     create with my own server after an hour of coding? 
     (Why would I sign up for yet another contacts service 
     when I can host my own LDAP server for free?)

  4. Is there a vibrant community supporting the startup 
     from the get to?
At least these are the first that come to mind.

It seems pretty safe: you can always export your data if you want.

In this case, yes. But not for all types of startups. When I say I won't "put stock" in another bookmarking service for a while, I don't mean I won't use one. I mean I won't use one like I would if I thought it was a permanent, reliable fixture.

Ah, true then.

Who makes a decision like this? The only reason I have a Yahoo account is for delicious.

Regardless of whether or not Del.icio.us is being shut down, Blake Irving's reaction to his screencast being "leaked" was completely uncalled for:


"@bpm140 @joshu Really dude? Can't wait to find out how you got the web cast. Whoever it is, gone!"

Open question: How could Yahoo have monetized delicious?

I'll start: Use the browser plugin to deliver highly targeted but low profile ads to users. The targeting would be based on the longitudinal interest data they have for millions of users, many of whom have been tagging their interests for months or years. For active users, I think this data is better than facebook targeting info.


Another angle; recruitment, at least for software developers. For active users, del.icio.us is one of best reflections of your skillset out there, with the exception of github. Potential employers or headhunters pay to search for matching profiles.

Too easy to game. 2 weeks later there would be someone selling lists of links to import to increase your chances of getting a job offer/interview.

Yahoo! keeps saying it's a content company. Given what they knew via delicious, it seems like a competent production group could have noted the top marks in any category, figured out why they were so successful, then combined them into a product with commercial value, either licensing he content directly, or commissioning the original authors to develop their ideas on Yahoo's dime, then subdividing this nicely vetted material by proven authors for use across a range or properties (e.g. photography related stuff in Flickr, investing references in Yahoo! finance, etc.)

It will be sad to see Delicious go, if it indeed does.

I would also like to point out http://pinboard.in/howto/#import

Automatically backup your Delicious bookmarks here : http://www.favbot.com/import-delicious.html

OAuth import will be up soon.

If you just want to download the bookmarks you can simply execute

$ curl https://user:pass@api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/all > delicious.xml

I was running it from cron to do daily backups.

EDIT: I've just noticed that somebody has already posted a similar command, so sorry for a duplicate.

That will just get you the data. Favbot makes it available online.

This is really annoying... I have over 3000 bookmarks on del.icio.us all nicely tagged, nice browser plugins, use it every day, etc. Definitely hoping to find an alternative that isn't a step backwards...

What do you want from a bookmark service on top of bookmarking+sync?

I don't even need sync, honestly. I just want the features of delicious, and I want to be able to trust that it won't go down. The features I care most about:

1. good browser integration - even through bookmarklets 2. good tagging system 3. ability to search my own stuff like http://www.delicious.com/philfreo/git+tutorial 4. ability to search lots of other peoples bookmarks 5. reliable 6. portability (so I know I can export and move elsewhere)

Basically, I want delicious to stay alive...

I've signed up for Pinboard, it has most of what you want - 3 is http://pinboard.in/u:philfreo/t:git/t:tutorial. What concerns me is the 4, due to the proverbial "network effects", delicious was so good for searching others' bookmarks because so many people were using it. I'm afraid there won't be a clearcut "winner" that everyone uses, the "go to" place to look for links.

Why do big companies shut down websites instead of selling them?

because the management team can't bear to look real bad when the new owners succeed where they failed.

And shareholders accept it, when their property gets thrown into the garbage can for this reason?

Welcome to the Cloud!

Seriously, companies must take responsibility for the data. It's important to note that delicious also has private bookmarks so it's not possible to just backup the repository and distribute it.

In my opinion the best way to solve this is to set up an auction for the "delicious asset".

Google, buy del.icio.us from yahoo, please!

In case you use the firefox extension, you already have a full copy of your bookmarks in the ybookmarks.sqlite file in your firefox profile.

I wonder if it'd even be possible to donate it to some foundation that preserves influential websites.

It'd be a pity to leave delicious and just trash it, instead of archiving it somewhere.

Internet Archive[1] is such a foundation. Most people know about the Wayback Machine, but they also preserve structured content like databases of URL shorteners[2]. This makes sense because the world doesn't need hundreds of shorteners, and I expect that most of them to disappear shortly (leaving dangling link behind).

[1] http://www.archive.org/

[2] http://www.archive.org/details/301works

I've gone to use Delicious several times but stopped short at the login screen.

There's no way I'm going to use a service when I have to create a Yahoo account.

Same goes with Flickr.

More money for Maciej. More features for Pinboard. More happiness for us early birds who got in at a sub $2 price :)

I am a heavy del.icio.us user today. What alternative bookmarking site should I switch to that supports tagging?

delicious should have marketed itself to the mainstream as a search engine with a 100% human curated database

This is sad. I use delicious daily, and I actually use it as a search engine - The ones that are most bookmarked is usually what I am looking for.

Another advantage is that I can share links form multiple machines.

I am avoiding chrome until they have something like noscript plugin (which will likely not happen) in firefox

What are the chances we can talk Google into buying it? I just started using it and it's beyond amazingly useful!

I don't want to lose the ability to save bookmarks this way.

Is there anything out there on the web that duplicates the functionality?

I'm looking to move my bookmarks somewhere else. But frankly this has really soured me on trusting anyone with them. I want them to be 'in the cloud' so I can access them from everywhere, but also under my control. Does anyone know if there are any apps available out there which I can install on my own hosting and can serve as a bookmark manager?

I already have a personal wiki for my notes and lists, but I'm looking for something a bit more specialized for bookmarks. I like the concept of tagging my bookmarks, which a wiki doesn't offer.

Also hiding in there: Altavista. Now there is a venerable piece of web real estate—fifteen years ago it was the place to go for web search. I didn't even know it was still around....

How much would you reckon the Altavista name all by itself would fetch? I could see people 20 years from now buying those as "collectors' items" a la antiques or baseball cards...

AltaVista claims to be "a business of Overture Services, Inc."


It is and Overture was acquired by Yahoo!

What's funny is that Delicious had changed their UI (again) recently, making it harder to save bookmarks with appropriate tags. It's as if the developers or managers don't actually use it themselves, or have no idea how large numbers of people are using it.

So I've been looking around for an alternative. I've been using Diigo, though the UI (at least for the bookmarklet) is not all that much better.

The comments here about Pinboard, though, motivated me to go sign up. I figure, better now than later after the exodus drives the cost up. :)

this was the major problem with a lot of the development.

It seems silly that they would just shut it down. Have they even tried to monetize it? I would pay ($50 a year) to continue to use Delicious. Maybe they can sell it?

Agree, why wouldn't you sell it even if only for a million dollars?

Interesting choice of words: "sunset" instead of, say, "shut down". It's clearly a weasel word, and using a noun as a verb makes it all the more jarring.

Say what you mean, Yahoo.

For the downvoters:

Weasel words may be used to detract from an uncomfortable fact, such as the act of firing staff. By replacing "firing staff" with "headcount reduction", one may soften meaning."


They should just put their logo into the sunset column and be done with it. Yang pooched the only hope they had of returning their shareholders money.

Anyone want to do a weekend hackathon with me and build a replacement? We could probably capitalize on delocios shutting down to get some traction.

I'm writing a Wordpress plugin right now to import del. bookmarks. Stop gap, but could be fun. Will do a theme to go with it...

Today I put together a WordPress plugin/theme to import delicious bookmarks and make them browsable at http://b.cuppster.com/ and a little write up at http://goo.gl/7lus7

Anyone interested in me posting this code? turning it into a collab. project?

Would you be able to scrape out all the current content or would that run into ToS barriers?

I like the idea of us taking our own bookmarks and re-importing them into a new system, then getting it to work (optionally) in a network (maybe syncing based on friend/follow relationships) on any domain we like...

I'm a Python developer in the valley. You choose a coffee shop and let's get hacking.

I'm in Dc bro :-(

This sounds interesting, and I'm starting my winter break at school here.

Cool. Do you have skills? Shoot me an email.

While I wouldn't want to discourage hacking and alternatives, that sounds like duplication of effort to me. What do you plan to do that http://pinboard.in/ isn't doing already?

Well how about an open and federated system - all alternative suggestions so far have been single sites owned by somebody else. If we could build a system which stores our data on our own server with the ability to connect to others then it would be far more sustainable - like status.net is to Twitter.

I'm in to chip in a domain. i've got http://banan.as and a few others

Time to move my bookmarks from Delicious.

Google Bookmarks looks like a possibility. I don't care that it doesn't have the social thing and I want something with good browser integration.

Does anyone have an working instructions for migrating to Google Bookmarks? Most sites refer to this page which appears to be broken - http://persistent.info/delicious2google/

I have to admit, since I started using Xmarks I pretty much stopped using del.icio.us. My last addition to del.icio.us was July of 2008.

And here is the US government's answer to wikileaks. Get Yahoo! to acquire them, they'd be marginalised and then shut down in months.

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