In mid December an ex-employee of Yahoo!, the owner of Delicious, released a slide from an internal presentation that indicated that Yahoo might close Delicious. Here is a copy of that slide showing which sites Yahoo! might shut down.
He tweeted the news that Delicious was shutting down and a picture of this slide, which immediately and naturally went flying around the web. Here is a post from TechCrunch about this event. This prompted thousands of people to look for a way to export their bookmarks from Delicious and import them to another, similar service. I saw this post from Michele Martin, a great blogger about nonprofits and social media that prompted me to think a bit more about what it means when a trusted tool shuts down, or even potentially shuts down. Strangely, and perhaps disastrously if Delicious doesn’t survive the defection of so many users, it took days for Yahoo to respnod to the rumors. Here is a post about their response.
Most of the social media tools that we use, like Facebook and Twitter, are free for the users. We invest a lot of time putting our data into these tools. What would happen if they one day disappeared? Delicious is a very early social media tool that is widely used to bookmark websites and share those bookmarks with others. In this way a community or network of people can share what they’ve bookmarked and find useful websites quickly and easily. I invited Allyson Kapin, the founder of Women Who Tech and co-founder of the web agency, Rad Campaign, and Michele to discuss the lessons from the Delicious meltdown with me for this month’s Social Good podcast.
I liked hearing about how Michele immediately went to her crowd on Facebook, blogs and Twitter to find an alternative to Delicious. Allyson was also very insightful about making sure we don’t put all of our network eggs in one basket and spread out among the social media channels to protect ourselves from a tool shut down. Allyson also talked about the importance of open source tools that we can preserved and supported by a community and not leave us at the whim of a for profit company. I hope some foundations are listening to that last bit!
Hope you enjoy the podcast.