Is this too little, too late? Why wasn't this blog post made yesterday? Now "Delicious is closing" has pretty much become "truth," even with this damage control. Many have already started trying out alternate services.
Well, I think the speed was precipitated by the fact that Yahoo had already shut down a legendary property, Geocities. It's easier to believe that they'll do that again with another piece of their tech than it is that they'll do the right thing and either support it or sell it off.
Wow, don't worry looks like somebody else is on the task :) Sorry for being insensitive, I never had a Geocities page myself, so I guess I didn't understand the importance. I thought it was just about Icy Hot Stunnaz and all that.
But regardless, novelty or nostalgia, the point is it's not very utilitarian. I think one can more easily expect a company to rip out things that people want for sentimental reasons, than something somebody currently find useful.
Well, that's like saying we should destroy the original tools cavemen made because they aren't of any use to us now. The point of Geocities in current day and age is to show us where we came from, IMO.
My point wasn't about what we should or shouldn't do, it's about what we should expect a company to do. The original point was, "Yahoo is willing to destroy Geocities" -> "Yahoo is willing to destroy Delicious". And my argument is that Geocities and Delicious have a fundamental difference that would probably make people complain harder, and thus make Yahoo think twice.
That's not the case. Internally, this intent was communicated shortly after the original announcement that leaked. It was just communicated to a smaller group of people, so it apparently didn't leak like the first announcement did.
My favorite version comes from Douglas Adams, though he probably didn't coin the original:
> Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. The Hingefreel people of Arkintoofle Minor did try to build spaceships that were powered by bad news but they didn't work particularly well and were so extremely unwelcome whenever they arrived anywhere that there wasn't really any point in being there.
I'm not sure what you're suggesting. Yahoo! shouldn't have confirmed that something is happening with Delicious so early?
I'd disagree. As soon as the story hit TechCrunch, they should have said something. Better to know one way or the other than to leave everyone speculate... because they'll assume the worst, as we've just seen.
The purpose of an all-hands meeting is to disseminate clear information to employees. In this case, Yahoo has done a very mediocre job in making the message clear. They could have told their own employees the clear truth about the future of delicious, but instead they couched it in FUD terms like "sunset".
So one employee in particular didn't arrive at the same conclusion about this leaked slide as the Yahoo PR department intended to convey, and leaked the slide to someone outside of Yahoo. That person also came away with a similar interpretation.
This does still point to one of the key mistakes Yahoo makes - it's inability to communicate clearly with it's own employees. And by masking these communication in PR-speak rather than plain clear English either suggest complete incompetance in communication, or a still unclear roadmap for Yahoo in general.
It was fair to assume "sunset" meant close down. Why would an employee of Yahoo leak a slide if it was clear that delicious would merely be sold, not closed down?
"sunset" in this context is a particularly poor choice of word. It has too many connotations of things going down. They could have said instead they intent to sell delicious - their employees do deserve clear and decisive leadership.
This is very much a leadership failure at Yahoo. They have failed to communicate effectively with the Sunnyvale staff who are still reeling after seeing their colleagues laid off.
Unfortunately, speaking as an ex-Yahoo, this is not new, nor surprising.
"Sunset" is a very well-understood term in product management and it means "shut down". I am convinced people came away with the right understanding, but the backlash caught Yahoo by surprise, so they are doing damage control.
Webdev celebs like Zeldman and Gruber helped fan the flames, too, by quickly spreading the news over Twitter. I watched this unfold through my Twitter feed; first I heard of it was a retweet from Zeldman.