The New Delicious

delicious On July 31st, the new finally launched. I consider myself a fairly heavy user of the service, with over 4200 bookmarks and 3700 tags. It’s something I use on a daily basis, so I noticed the new version almost immediately. My first reaction was “wow” but after using it for the last few days, I’m not so excited about it anymore.

What it all comes down to is that there just isn’t anything new, besides a fresh coat of paint. At least the Delicious team didn’t try to hide that in their post about the changes:

The new Delicious is just like the old, only faster, easier to learn, and hopefully more delightful to use and to look at.

They dropped the dots, cleaned up the UI, and made the backend faster. I appreciate all of those changes, but I’m somewhat disappointed that there’s nothing new and exciting for me to play with. The “new” domain has actually worked for a long time now, and the old domain will continue to work, so that’s not much of a change. The new layout and UI can be best described as “long overdue”. I guess I’m happy about the performance improvements, and I have definitely noticed it, especially when searching.

Apparently the changes will allow the team to make improvements faster, but only time will tell if that is actually the case. I think Delicious could definitely use some work around the social networking aspect of the site – starting with allowing me to specify a profile picture! They could also probably do a lot with recommendations and trends, to help me find things I might be interested in.

Even though the new Delicious has launched, I feel like I’m still waiting.

More on social bookmarking

I have received quite a bit of feedback on my last post on social bookmarking. That tells me a couple things – first, that this blogging thing really works, and second that people are into
social bookmarking. If people didn’t care, my post would have gone
unnoticed. That bodes well for the future of social bookmarking!

One of the responses I received was from Djoeke van de Klomp, who is the User Community Manager for Blinklist, another social bookmarking site that I admit I have not tried. She passed along a link to The Great Social Bookmarking Survey,
which I of course filled out. You can fill it out too and in return
you’ll get a copy of the results (if you submit your email address).
Here’s what I had to say in response to the main question of the survey:

One of the features that I think would take social bookmarking to the
next level is greater awareness of content types (and context). Am I
bookmarking a web page? A flash presentation? An mp3 file? A video? An
image? I don’t think the interface, the metadata, and the other
supporting features are truly consistent for each of these content
types. The interface and metadata for an image should be different than
for a web page. Maybe this is like a mashup of Flickr and a social
bookmarking service, who knows! The way these services behave now
though isn’t THAT much different from the bookmarks we have in
browsers, except that they are available online. There needs to be
something more to take it to the next level. The value proposition has
to be more than just, “share your bookmarks online”!

Yes there are other things like tags, and services like Shadows
add discussions into the mix and while those features are great, I
don’t think they are enough to make the average user jump into social
bookmarking. They see it as more work! And it’s a tricky balancing act,
make no mistake about it.

How do we add enough interesting features that savvy users can run with
it and make it their own, while continuing to make it simple enough for
the average user to understand and use?

Tricky indeed. Another thing I’d like to see is an API that all
social bookmarking sites agree upon so that we can integrate them into
browsers and other applications! Or does this already exist? As far as
I know, Flock is the only project working towards integrating social bookmarking into the browser.

If you’re interested in taking a look at the various social bookmarking services, there is a pretty big list at Wikipedia. And roxomatic has a PDF which compares 19 different services (last updated on August 11th, 2005).

Read: Take the Survey!