Bye bye, Delicious…

Note: This post is in the Archive, which means the information may be out-of-date or links may be dead. Just so you know.

I was more than a little surprised when I opened my Delicious page and found that everything had completely changed overnight.

Yes, I knew that Yahoo! was divesting itself of Delicious, and that a startup had bought it. I knew the transition was happening soon. What I did not realize — and probably this should have occurred to me — was that they were going to completely redesign Delicious.

In so doing, all of the features that I liked most and used every day were suddenly wiped out. Gone were the tag bundles I had spent years developing. (Tag bundles were a feature of the old Delicious that enabled you to group, or bundle, different tags together. For instance, I could bundle all the tags for a project together and access them easily from the sidebar.) Gone were the tag clouds that I could adjust to show only the most frequently used tags or all of them.

Now, in their place, is just a list of tags down the right side. Not all of my tags; I can’t figure out how to get to those. Not even my most frequently used tags. Just some random tags. The redesign renders my carefully crafted tagging scheme useless. This is probably worse than Delicious disappearing altogether, because this happened without warning and without the chance for me to preserve my work somehow.

Needless to say, I immediately exported all of my bookmarks to my browser. At least the new Delicious makes that easy enough to do.

This rude awakening underscores what we should all internalize as a fact of 21st century life: When your everyday tools are owned, operated, designed and controlled by someone else, you can’t count on them to stay the same and do what you expect, day after day. After years of using a site like Delicious or Google Documents or WordPress or any of the myriad Web tools available to us to store and organize our data, we start to take them for granted. But this experience has made it very clear that you can’t count on any of these tools being there forever. Or even being there tomorrow.

As great as the “cloud” is, and I’m a big proponent of Web-based tools and data storage, we have to remember that if we care about our data, we have to caretake it. That means making backups. Because you just might wake up to find it gone or irrevocably changed.

However, I’m not letting Delicious off the hook altogether. We should have been warned that in the redesign, data would be gone. Sure, the site is allowed to change and evolve — I know I don’t own it; I just get to use it for free — but show some respect for your users by at least giving us a heads-up. Is that really too much to ask of the cloud?

Here’s an article I found in The Atlantic that pretty much captures my exact feelings upon logging in to Delicious this morning. It’s a good read for anyone who keeps anything “in the cloud.”

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11 thoughts on “Bye bye, Delicious…

  1. I totally agree with you. I miss my “old” delicious with the ability to organize tags on the right side, to display up to 100 bookmarks on one page, to edit the bookmarks on-site etc. etc.

  2. Man, this is so stupid. I also had very old bundles, from years ago… The idiots didn’t even offer a way to export them. I’m going offline, too. Never again using such service. Lesson learned.

  3. I too am completely frustrated that I can’t see all of my tags. I had spent years accumulating all of those tags and now I’m left with just some random tags.

  4. Almost half of my tags are gone. Also, I synced del.icio.us IncSearch (Firefox ad-on) and it loaded only 1000 links instead of 2000+. That’s frustrating.

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  6. Stacks are completely useless.
    The fact that tags are now “optional” means that delicious will slowly lose its search-ability and find-ability. Do I really want to look through hundreds of stacks rather than just one scrolling page of links based on my search of a tag?

    I don’t think so…

    And the fact that they dropped the forums for open feedback just underscores the fact that they really don’t care to have criticism about their direction.

    Don’t get me started about the lost of my tag bundles either or the ability to be able to copy a set of tags from one saved link to another similar one.

    Until just recently I used http://delicious.com/post to save my links which still used the old page saving method, but that is now gone and replaced by the retarded stack focused one.

    Argh!

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  8. I logged into delicious recently and found that stacks have disappeared and the old dear bundles are available again. I don’t know if you still mean to use this service, but maybe now you have a chance to save them.

  9. When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and
    from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment.
    There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

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