Delicious… the saga continues

I have mentioned Delicious here on numerous occasions, but it has made news–albeit on a minor level–often enough to keep me following the story. The thing is, I feel like I keep getting the same bits of information and then lamenting the same issues over and over again. A little forward momentum, even in a direction I don’t appreciate, would be such a welcome change here.

To recap:
First Delicious was acquired by Yahoo, but no redesign of the interface occurred in the five years they held the service; this was disappointing since the archaic design quality interferes with user perceptions of how current the content could possibly be–problematic for an inherently useful, but underused tool. Then Yahoo announced that it would close the service (“sunset,” to be exact). An outcry arose from organizations, especially libraries and educational technology groups that had invested heavily in leveraging the social bookmarking resource. Yahoo “clarified” that “sunsetting” meant selling–a very convenient response to the unanticipated negative publicity the closure announcement generated. Still, I felt good that the public outcry helped to save the service. However, there was still no redesign and apparently no new attention to the potential of the service from Yahoo, despite the hundreds of articles I read detailing great suggestions.

Then, in April, it was sold to Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, co-founders of YouTube. And still we wait. No new design, no relaunch, no real word on the progress. And this brings me to the heart of this blog post, which is that no matter how much I support the idea of Delicious, even my patience is wearing thin. How many others have written off the service long ago, and is it reasonable to expect them to come back at this point? An article released this weekend by the New York Times covers some of the new features that will be unrolled, but in a very cursory manner–too sketchy, I think, to be of much value. Marshall Kirkpatrick added a fantastic blog post to this discussion, and proceeded to (yet again) outline a visionary list of features that would make the Delicious website into an unbeatable service. Seriously awesome stuff, but then several of the reader comments proceeded to hit on the lingering doubts that people still have, which primarily hinge on timeframes. This redesign may legitimately take time, but really, time is beyond up on this process. More teaser articles and interviews, in my opinion, can only hurt this endeavor. Roll out a pretty, shiny new Delicious already, before we all actually lose our last shred of interest!

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