There is interesting news coming out of the social bookmarking
Snaps up Del.icio.us.
What the heck is social bookmarking?
Social bookmarking is basically a web based bookmarking service on
steriods. It gives users the ability to access bookmarks from anywhere and
share web pages that has been deemed “bookmarkable” by its network of users.
What kind of name is del.icio.us? Pronounced “delicious,”
del.icio.us is both the company name and domain name
of a service that allows people to bookmark web sites to an online account
rather than to a favorites folder in their web browser. The service was
created in 2003 by Joshua Schachter and turned
into a company in 2005. While del.icio.us certainly has a tasty sounding
name, that’s probably not why Yahoo bought them.
What does del.icio.us do?
Online Bookmarking: Saving bookmarks online
allows users to access them from any computer and from any browser. As
I mentioned in a
post, bookmark syncing is a big challenge for people who use more than
one computer or browser. However, rather than attempting to sync bookmarks
between multiple computers and browsers, users simply work from a
single repository of bookmarks accessible from any internet
Bookmark Tagging: Have you ever started reading something
really interesting, run out of time, decided to bookmark it, but then
couldn’t remember what you called it or what folder you saved it in?
del.icio.us addresses this common challenge by using bookmark tags. Every
time you bookmark a site to del.icio.us, you can add keywords (tags) to the
bookmarked web page to help you categorize that page in your del.icio.us
account. Tagging is far superior to folders because it allows users to
bookmark the same web page to many “folders.” For example, a person adding
this blog post to del.icio.us might tag it with terms like [del.icio.us
yahoo bookmarking acquisition]. That person could later retrieve this post
within their del.icio.us account by clicking on any of those four tags.
Bookmark Sharing: Bookmarks posted to del.icio.us become
part of the del.icio.us community. The bookmarked web pages are ranked based
on how many times a page is bookmarked by del.icio.us users.
This helps address one of the toughest questions faced by web
users today: “What’s worth reading?”
Searching del.icio.us by a tag that interests them, or clicking
del.icio.us’ “Popular” link will guide people to interesting content fast
using the power of deli.icio.us’ network. Once one person ads this blog
post to del.icio.us, other users of del.icio.us may also stumble upon it,
read it, and decide it’s bookmark worthy, thus increasing the popularity of
this post for the terms it has been tagged with.
What does Yahoo gain from this acquisition?: Yahoo is
already a player in the social bookmarking game through their
MyWeb service. While actually superior in some ways to del.icio.us –
Yahoo allows users to set permissions to bookmarked pages, so you can decide
what’s public, private, or somewhere in between while del.icio.us’ system is
only open to the public – they dodn’t have
the fast-growing network del.icio.us has been able to quickly acquire.
Perhaps Yahoo has learned how hard it is to catch up once a
company manages to gain a foothold in a network-effect web model?
A Killer Application Bundle?: If Yahoo manages to create a
bundle of irresistable applications that are truly integrated (one
login) into their Y! platform, they may manage to lock in users for a good
portion of their daily web browsing. A killer combination of great
social bookmarking, a top of the line RSS reader, and fast / relevant search
could entice many web power users who’ve called Google home for the past few
years to reconsider their web browsing behavior. Will Yahoo be able to pull
it off? The speed and elegance of the del.icio.us integration into
Yahoo’s properties may show us how serious they really are.
Who else is a player in social bookmarking? Temporarily, it
looks like Yahoo has cornered the market, but Google does have an
bookmarking service tied into their personal search system. If Google
enters this game, it will likely be an extension of that service.
Live will likely offer a competing service in the near future.
What do you think?
Are you a del.icio.us or Yahoo MyWeb user today?
What do you like about the services?
Who else will become a player in this market and when?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.