Un-delicious

Yahoo bought and is now closing delicious. Del.icio.us as it was known at inception, is one of the best tools to save bookmarks online. Yahoo has done quite a number of stupid things over the years, but this is right up there. And making it worse is that they are vocally not happy that this leaked out. Nevertheless this means I am looking for a replacement, and rethinking my assumptions when it comes to web-only tools.

All eggs & one basket: There are certain items that I prefer to store online - bookmarks being a great example. Offline bookmarks make no sense beyond backups. Their value comes out of being online, available, portable (not just synced) and accessible (without installing stuff or logging in). Which is a big reason why online bookmarking has taken off rather quickly.

But the dilemma about web services is their availability - they suffer outages, and they run the risk of being shut down. So the question is, should one limit risk by putting all their eggs into one basket at the cost of losing out on innovation? Choosing a Google would, for all intents and purposes, ensure service. But one will probably never get to the see all the new and nifty that happens only in a basement. Which brings me to the second characteristic of the cloud.

Egg mobility: Continuing the ovular metaphor, unless one is able to move their eggs around, having accessible services has no meaning. Free services have an incentive to getting data in, but do not always have to be friendly with getting data out. Some like Facebook, are brazen about the one-way nature of their data pipes.

Having data portability is the true mark of a good web-only tool. The ability to back up data offline is a start, but adhering to standards where available or defaulting to a simple extract should be necessary for all cloud services.

Diigo seems to fit the bill. The exodus from delicious.com seems to be ending up in two locations - Diigo and Pinboard.in. Unfortunately Pinboard does not have a Firefox plugin (while they seemed to have hiked up their sign-up cost). And Diigo has a good list of export formats.

Thank you Del.icio.us. Go Diigo.

Update: Delicious insists it is only being sold, not shut down. Diigo has been importing my bookmarks for a few hours now without luck. Maintain status quo!

December 17, 2010

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