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When I saw the news about the launch of Delicious 2.0, I can’t say I felt a huge wave of joy, despite the fact that I am what most people would probably consider a hard-core Delicious user, with about 10,000 webpages saved since I started using it. But not only didn’t I feel any joy at the news, I didn’t really feel anything at all. In part, that could be because the new Delicious interface has been rumoured to be coming any day now for about a year (or perhaps even more, I’ve lost track). Now that it has arrived, it’s definitely anti-climactic at best. It also seems a lot slower than the old one, even though it is supposed to be faster. Maybe 10,000 bookmarks is just too many for it to handle.

But that’s not the only reason I’m ambivalent about the launch. Adam Ostrow put his finger on it in a Twitter message, in which he said that he never bookmarks things any more — he either remembers something, or searches for it, or asks someone else if he can’t remember the details. It has occurred to me over the past year or so that while I religiously bookmark things, often dozens of them in a single day, I rarely go back and look them up. If I’m writing about something and I remember some details, I type them into Google and eventually track the page down.

I’ve been experimenting with using Google Reader’s shared items as a kind of Delicious bookmark substitute, in part because that is hooked into social networks I use like FriendFeed.com and Feedly and Readburner and so on (although Delicious can be plugged into FriendFeed as well). But I have the same ambivalence about sharing items through Google Reader as well — I mean, I do it, but I hardly ever go back and look at them. Sometimes I do when I’m stuck for something to blog about, but that rarely happens. It’s occurred to me, however, that the simple act of bookmarking them makes it easier for me to remember them, the same way that setting my alarm ensures that I wake up before the alarm goes off, but if I don’t set it then I sleep in.

Perhaps the Delicious redesign will appeal to enough people who aren’t like me — to new adopters who are still using their Netscape or IE bookmarks, or to people using Diigo or Clipmarks or one of the dozens of other bookmarking tools (all of which I have also tried). But I think I’m even less likely to use Delicious than I was before. John Furrier also seems underwhelmed, although there are plenty of fans of the new site.

About the author

Mathew 2429 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

94 Responses to “Delicious 2.0: Who bookmarks any more?”
  1. Well, I seem to do things differently from everyone else. I don’t bookmark anything, or use RSS, or Twitter, etc.

    Websites I visit often for content that changes daily, I remember the URL, or at worst I remember the keywords I use in Google to re-find that search. For stuff I have never looked up before, I Google. When I find something I want to keep, I cut and paste the entire page into Lotus Notes (or if it has linked files, I add them as attachments). This way I can categorize and tag the documents as I see fit, create links between them, and add my own addenda to the saved documents. Sometimes I don’t remember how I categorized something, but since Notes has full-text indexing, I can find anything in a couple of seconds.

    I have a 4gb Notes database with local copies on my laptops, and they are replicated with my server. That way if a site ever goes away (and they do, and even http://www.archive.org doesn’t necessarily have a copy), I have my own copy of the data. I’ve been doing it this way for about 7 years now. People might think this whole setup costs a lot – not at all. One can buy a Notes server license for a one-off cost of circa. $150 per user, and I host the server on linode.com ($20/month) – but since my interent connection costs me $40 a month, and my time is a lot more valuable I think my setup cannot be bettered. Since a Notes database can be rendered as HTML using its internal webserver, I can also make sure I have access to all that information from anywhere with a browser.

    Notes is a greatly under-rated tool.

    • Anytime I find something worth remembering I click the Tag button with the Firefox plugin and save it. Then I can move on to thinking about something else.

      Whenever I need to return a site, I go to delicious first, search my bookmarks and find what I was looking for instantly. Why wouldn’t you bookmark?

      Typing in the keywords into Google is great, but many times the page where I found that really interesting bit of information is buried within the 3rd or 4th page.

      Lately I’ve been using a mix of Evernote (because of iPhone coolness) and Delcious. Anything private, or research material for a story I’m writing, etc. is saved to Evernote – clipping out the important parts. If I find an interesting link or page that I want to share with everyone I tag it in Delicious with a special tag that my blog reads in through an RSS feed.

  2. […] the tech community over the new-and-improved site, some people were raising the valid question: “Who bookmarks anymore?” Besides bookmarking for the sake of making sure a site gets seen in your FriendFeed stream, the […]

  3. Mathew, Thanks for the thoughtful post.

    Like you, I tag, tag, tag on del.ico.us. And I regularly use Search to find things I vaguely remember.

    However, I frequently use del.icio.us to find specific posts that were meaningful to me – even though they didn’t rate high on Google.

    Del.icio.us let’s us put the “I’ in Search. Google is good for the “We.”

  4. […] 5, 2008 Matthew Ingram has a good, thought-provoking post on the relevance of social bookmarking. Because these tools make bookmarking so easy, it’s […]

  5. I tend to use the (possibly dubious) google toolbar for my bookmarks, so when i’m typing into my search box, the bookmarks autocomplete :)
    That’s the only reason i tend to use them to go anywhere, though i do occasionally search them for stuff i’ve forgotten

  6. […] “Delicious” now) 2.0 finally launched a few days ago and the response so far has been mixed. But now that the dust has settled some, it’s time to think about just how we got here and if […]

  7. […] mathewingram — Delicious 2.0: Who bookmarks any more? "It’s occurred to me, however, that the simple act of bookmarking them makes it easier for me to remember them, the same way that setting my alarm ensures that I wake up before the alarm goes off, but if I don’t set it then I sleep in." […]

  8. […] the tech community over the new-and-improved site, some people were raising the valid question: “Who bookmarks anymore?” Besides bookmarking for the sake of making sure a site gets seen in your FriendFeed stream, the […]

  9. […] the tech community over the new-and-improved site, some people were raising the valid question: “Who bookmarks anymore?” Besides bookmarking for the sake of making sure a site gets seen in your FriendFeed stream, the […]

  10. I can’t make sense of “either remembering or searching”.
    How can you remember things in this age, where content is exploding every second?

    Bookmarking had been around for a long time, not only in digital form, but in books and other items, and it will stay around for a long time.

  11. […] not convinced of the usefulness of that approach, but the original post she quotes from Matthew Ewing’s blog has some terrific commentary on delicious usage in general, with […]

  12. I continue to Bookmark, but I am a blogger. The Delicious 2.0 release came at about the same time as a Mento.info release that made Mento less useful for my purposes, so for the first time in a while, I returned to Delicious to keep track of the stories that I am following so I can look back through them when i need to write a post. For that, Delicious is perfect. To discover new stories, I use Twine and Social Median.

  13. I like it, it's faster, search is way more powerful too. You can finally search in your network and search on URLs.

    Now I can't wait for the new open source federated magnolia :)

  14. Many people have pointed out the far more powerful and portable ways of keeping those really important bookmarks (for me, the bookmarks and history in Camino browser do the job fully). As a business, a shared del.icio.us account is great for us to have a central repository of things we've liked and are of note. We can pull a feed form those with a digest of each day and also feed the latest 3 stories onto our blog- a great way of showing things we've liked, pass a quick comment on them and also 'blog' them instantly….

  15. […] Ingram raises the question «Who bookmarks anymore?» He states that, instead of consulting his bookmarks, «[i]f I’m writing about something and […]

  16. […] topics to blog about, tonight I’ll pick up on a post made by Matthew Ingram about the questionable usefulness of Del.icio.us for bookmarking stories: It has occurred to me over the past year or so that while I […]

  17. […] de haverem algumas pessoas que começam a falar no declínio e/ou utilidade de um serviço de favoritos online, continua a ser um dos serviços que uso com mais regularidade e […]

  18. […] tech community over the new-and-improved site, some people were raising the valid question: “Who bookmarks anymore?” Besides bookmarking for the sake of making sure a site gets seen in your FriendFeed stream, […]

  19. […] also alludes to the bookmarking process in general, as this blogger points out: Adam Ostrow put his finger on it in a Twitter message, in which he said that he […]

  20. Sorry, but this is just crazy talk. Bookmarking takes a second and comes in very useful about once a week when you're searching for something you need to finish an article or install a piece of software.

  21. […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by Tdawg131430 on 2008-09-15 Delicious 2.0: Who bookmarks any more? http://www.mathewingram.com/work/2008/07/31/delicious-20-who-bookmarks-any-more/ – bookmarked by 6 […]

  22. […] tech community over the new-and-improved site, some people were raising the valid question: “Who bookmarks anymore?” Besides bookmarking for the sake of making sure a site gets seen in your FriendFeed stream, […]

  23. I still use Delicious daily (even find myself typing del.icio.us). I'm at 8785 bookmarks and I use it as a research tool. I find that I reference it rather regularly. For instance, someone was looking for a different mind mapping tool and although they could search Google and find similar results, my delicious marks are pre-filtered to only show stuff that I consider valuable. For me, Delicious is like subsetting the large search engines.

    When I am researching, I can collect articles and websites without having to thoroughly analyze them. I simply tag them appropriately then after I've collected my sources, I can easily return to them in Delicious to more closely examine them and write my conclusion.

    I have asked the same questions. Of the 8785 bookmarks, many of the older ones are dead links (I wish Delicious would hide those. I don't want them removed because I can use them as a way to find the information in the wayback machine). Of the 8785 in all honesty, most of them I never return to give another look. But those few that I do, make the service and the habit well worth while to me.

  24. I still use Delicious daily (even find myself typing del.icio.us). I'm at 8785 bookmarks and I use it as a research tool. I find that I reference it rather regularly. For instance, someone was looking for a different mind mapping tool and although they could search Google and find similar results, my delicious marks are pre-filtered to only show stuff that I consider valuable. For me, Delicious is like subsetting the large search engines.

    When I am researching, I can collect articles and websites without having to thoroughly analyze them. I simply tag them appropriately then after I've collected my sources, I can easily return to them in Delicious to more closely examine them and write my conclusion.

    I have asked the same questions. Of the 8785 bookmarks, many of the older ones are dead links (I wish Delicious would hide those. I don't want them removed because I can use them as a way to find the information in the wayback machine). Of the 8785 in all honesty, most of them I never return to give another look. But those few that I do, make the service and the habit well worth while to me.

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