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Save our bookmarks: Yahoo's Delicious should become an aggregator

November 30, 2009 |  2:47 pm
Delicious founder Joshua Schachter left Yahoo in 2008 and now works for Google. Credit: Joi via Flickr

Yahoo's social bookmarking website Delicious is looking less appetizing nowadays.

Once the king of online link sharing and a pioneer in the concept of tagging content, Delicious has been eating all of the wrong things as of late. The site hadn't changed significantly since Yahoo bought it in 2005. Until recently.

Over the last four months, the site has undergone a spiffy redesign, gotten a prettier mobile site and improved search features, filtering and graphing. The most recent announcement details its integration with other Yahoo properties, mainly Yahoo Updates.

What the heck is Yahoo Updates? Looks like a Twitter clone that practically no one is using.

All of these changes appeal to the few niches that still use the site. Graphic designers will appreciate the resurfaced interface and statistics geeks will love the info overlays and doodads.

Delicious is failing to address the elephant in the room -- that over the last few years, start-ups and big players have emulated all of its original features and helped them reach a wider audience.

Bookmark synchronization is one. Xmarks is a popular browser extension that syncs bookmarks seamlessly between computers. Firefox-maker Mozilla is getting into the game as well with Weave. Google, where Delicious founder Joshua Schachter is now employed, does it too with its Toolbar. (Schachter didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.)

People are sharing and discovering interesting Web content on Twitter and Facebook. TweetMeme aggregates the popular ones on Twitter. Digg and StumbleUpon offer a smart formula to surface the Web's most-buzzed-about content.

With the Web's bookmarks being spread out in so many places, it's an opportunity -- one for Delicious to refocus its core function. Delicious' mission has been to provide one place to access all of your bookmarks from anywhere.

Well, our favorite sites are no longer locked up on browsers, sitting on various hard drives. They're on a dozen websites on a dozen different profiles.

Delicious could be the site that aggregates what we're saving and sharing around the Web. It could pull in the items we've linked to on Twitter and Google Reader and the ones we've submitted to Digg and StumbleUpon. With the slow death of FriendFeed, now is the perfect opportunity for Delicious to add some yummy integration.

Yahoo is getting a pretty nasty reputation of missing opportunities and stagnating promising products. GeoCities is dead. And Jason Scott, leader of Web cache group Archiveteam and an industry veteran who has been watching Yahoo for years, is convinced that photo site Flickr won't last much longer.

Delicious has an opening to resurface in Web 2.5 (or whatever you want to call it) and make sense of our segmented bookmarks. Will Yahoo dig it?

-- Mark Milian