Thinking About Delicious

We spent eight months last year working with Joshua Schachter as he built delicious from a cool web service into a company and then to a sale to Yahoo!

I haven’t written much about delicious since the sale, but if you watch my delicious feed or my delicious linkroll on the right sidebar of this blog, you’ll notice that I still use it fanatically.

And just this weekend, I added my delicious network badge to my delicious linkroll on the right sidebar. You can now add me to your delicious network by clicking on the plus sign.

I love delicious because it makes my web usage simpler and easier. And it allows me to publish the stuff I find to anyone else who wants to see it. And we use still use delicious as much as ever around the office to pass around links.

I’ve tried the other things that have come along purporting to do tagging and social bookmarking better, but for me nothing comes close. Of course I am biased and also completely bought into the delicious way of doing things so maybe I just can’t see why the newer services are better. I’d be curious what all of you think.

So when I saw Mike Arrington’s two posts on delicious last week it made me think about what has happened with delicious since the sale to Yahoo! I used to check delicious traffic on Alexa once a week but I haven’t been checking it much lately. Frankly I think Alexa’s numbers are strange for both delicious and digg (i always look at them together). This chart shows the traffic for the two services for the past year. Clearly something weird is going with Alexa’s numbers on these two services.

Delicious_vs_digg

Alexa ranks delicious as the 175th most popular service on the Internet (digg is 100th). That’s much higher than when it was sold to Yahoo!  But as someone commented in Arrington’s post, Alexa’s toolbar is used mostly by webmasters so its stats lean toward the techie crowd.

Comscore’s numbers apparently indicate that delicious’ traffic is declining. Comscore has a much larger and properly weighted panel, so maybe delicious’ traffic is declining among the mainstream crowd. I tend to doubt it. I have seen Comscore’s numbers bounce around a lot for services with relatively small user bases. It will be interesting to see what the numbers are next month now that this issue has been flagged publicly in an inflential blog.

But the bigger question is what has Yahoo! done with delicious since acquiring it last November. In my mind, not much. We’ve now got privacy which is nice, but I never use it. And the network stuff is cool, I am looking forward to seeing how that expands the utility. There has been some good stuff on the UI, but its still a fairly geeky UI.

Maybe the best thing that’s happened to delicious is that they’ve pretty much left it alone but massively expanded the infrastructure. In any case, its still one of my favorite services on the Internet and I use it every day. Certainly my usage hasn’t gone down.