Response to Yahoo’s plans to shut down delicious

Warning: This is an emotional response to yesterday’s announcement by Yahoo! that they are shutting down the popular, absolutely essential, epitome of web 2.0 tool delicious.

What the hell?! First Facebook and now Yahoo! have screwed me (us) over. Two really simple, very functional, extremely valuable web2.0 tools that I’ve been preaching and pushing all year b/c they are/were incredibly useful — delicious and drop.io — and the parent companies pulled/are about to pull the plug.

  • October brought us the announcement that Facebook bought drop.io and that free accounts were to quickly disappear and paid accounts discontinued Dec.15.
  • Yesterday brought us even more shocking news that Yahoo has decided to sunset their very popular social tagging tool delicious.

Damn them.

Now what do I tell faculty? What are you going to tell your faculty? How are you going to sell them on some really amazing online tool that does something incredibly useful for their class and yet runs the serious risk of being acquired by [huge company name here] and very quickly wiped out?

Yes! I’ve found this great tool that helps you meet that learning objective, keeps your students engaged, encourages active learning … but just an fyi — don’t get too dependent on it, b/c it’s very possible someday you’ll suddenly have to export everything, find a new tool, and figure out how to migrate from one to another.

[Update: Now Yahoo! Says Delicious Will Live On … Somewhere Else]

Katrina Adams
Howdy folks! I’m an Instructional Designer at UT Dallas. I have a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Angelo State University and a Master’s in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. I’ve been working in edtech for 11 years. Hmm… what else? I’m a *huge* fan of that little Irish band called U2, and I’m a bigtime Firefly/Serenity advocate.

5 thoughts on “Response to Yahoo’s plans to shut down delicious

  1. Matt Crosslin

    Well, to be honest, that last paragraph is what I always tell faculty members about every tool they use. Even if it doesn’t go out of business, what if some hacker group decides to attack the site and it goes down for a few days? What if the economy gets worse and they have to start charging? There are lots of things that could happen, so I always warn people that use Web2.0 tools to always have a contingency plan. And make sure your students know it, too. I usually try to sell the concept, not the tool. But it does become a pain to transfer stuff to a new service, one that might not even have that one key feature you really needed.

    On the other hand, it is really sad when companies shut stuff down with no future path forward. At least with Wave, they are releasing what they had to open source. They did the same with Jaiku. But not Lively, or so far not Delicious. Odd. And selfish.

  2. Katrina Adams

    Good point re: fully disclosing all the risks when talking with faculty.

    Good news is that there are a few alternative tools out there that are actively working on easy imports for delicious bookmark collections.

    Still irritated as all heck, though. (Obviously, I’ve simmered down just a bit.)

  3. Matt Crosslin

    I agree with you on the irritation. I was actually going to soon start possibly using Delicious on a course I adjunct. Oh, well.

    I have heard a lot of buzz about migrating to Diigo. But I don’t know enough about Diigo to know if it has the same features I like (hashtags and annotations on links, mainly – plus RSS feeds for specific tags by specific users).

  4. Hi

    Yes, you make sure everyone knows that “free” may not last and that the flexibility we value in our students must also pertain to us. I got pissed at Ning and then pissed at Yahoo (who’s next) but I realized that I may need to pay for what I use, and free could disappear in a second on the Net.

    It’s frustrating, for sure, particularly with teachers dipping their toes into technology but we need to be honest with them (and make sure we are clear that they be on the lookout for sudden conversions from ad-free to ad-bloated, too, when it comes to student-used sites)

    Kevin

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