By now, everyone that was a loyal user of the social bookmarking site Delicious knows, Yahoo is allegedly shutting it down. I feel lucky in that I only recently started using Delicious in a somewhat obsessive manner, but many information professionals have been using it for years for personal use, professional research and to automatically populate any manner of subject guides and web resources.
For now, my bookmarks are all safely moved to Diigo and that is the service I will use moving forward. I have been interested in exploring the additional features, like web page highlighting and the import process is nice and easy. Here’s a useful step by step guide.
This situation does raise a number of interesting concerns about entrusting information of any kind to hosted or cloud vendors. One of the criteria people consider when vetting social software is whether a service has a longstanding and positive reputation. While the term “longstanding” as applied to technology is relative, Delicious did have a positive reputation.
This makes me think twice about using collaborative tools, putting too much credence in the storage capabilities of bookmarking services, and even on advising clients to store assets in a cloud based DAM solution. I have been working on another project designing a workflow system relying on a central file sharing service and I am now reconsidering.
Naturally, working some type of backup into your personal workflow is prudent in any case. However, the unsavory Delicious situation does raise some red flags about our increasing devotion to virtual products and services that were not even a glimmer in someone’s eye five years ago.