You can’t rely on the cloud – farewell Delicious

Yesterday’s news that Yahoo is closing down Delicious, as well as other web 2.0 properties it has acquired over the years, is a great example of why you can’t rely on the cloud. It appears that Yahoo has looked at the services in its portfolio that I’ve actually used or like and then got rid of them. However Upcoming and Mybloglog are ones I’d already stopped using, largely I suspect because Yahoo’s neglect of them made them rather redundant.

I’m a big fan of Delicious and have been for years. I’d even be happy to pay a both a personal and a corporate subscription. Delicious was an excellent online tool for corporate communications and public relations professionals engaging in social media.

At Wolfstar Consultancy we also make extensive use of Delicious both for ourselves and for many of our clients. Its closure means we have to do a rethink of how we deliver several of our clients websites, blogs and social media newsrooms as well as how we provide social media training workshops and mentoring.

One of our main uses for it is curating content, including online coverage for clients. In fact that was one of my many questions about the recent PRCA/NLA court ruling was how did it effect us if we find the coverage ourselves without using a paid for service and then share the links via Delicious?

Its closure is a good illustration of why I’ll never trust the cloud for two main reasons:

  1. You’re putting yourself too much in the hands of third parties who you’ve got no control over.
  2. Internet connectivity is NOT everywhere and won’t be for a long time yet. I used to say this five years ago and ‘cloud evangelists’ would say just wait, it will be in five years time. We’re hardly any closer than we were then.

So given that Delicious doesn’t really have any competition what do you do? Well the first thing is to rescue your links from Delicious. As to what a decent replacement service is then I’m still looking – all ideas gratefully received in the comments.

UPDATE: And read this great analysis by Ged Carroll.

UPDATE 2: Tim Bailey, Wolfstar Consultancy’s director of technology, has just reminded me about the long lost Ma.gnolia.

UPDATE 3: General consensus appears to be that Pinboard is the best alternative.

3 Replies to “You can’t rely on the cloud – farewell Delicious

  1. I think the difference is relying on free cloud services versus something you pay for. If you pay someone to provide a service then you have a contract for the provision of service and it can’t simply be whipped away. Unfortunately Yahoo is not in the business of philanthropy or, so it seems, making money from social media at the moment. While it’s fantastic to have innovative free cloud services like Delicious, users should beware that not all of them will ‘stick’ and be successful for their backers. As such many will fall by the wayside. Sad, but true.

  2. I have to agree and say the danger isn’t just with services closing but also changing the rules. The open web is a fantastic thing but the more we come to rely on accessing and operating on the web through the likes of apps and services like Facebook the more we have to play by their rules. There are a lot of reasons to operate on 3rd party services but clients shouldn’t neglect their own website too.

  3. I have always been a “keep it in the house” kind of guy with my business. Although we do rely on various social sites for profiles, we try not to do anything with free sites that our business relies on.

    I’ve even installed my own in-house URL shorter. Thankfully for me I never used delicious for any more than link building.

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