Meet The New Delicious

Sneaking in between big announcements from Facebook, Amazon and Apple, the all new Delicious has launched and is looking very visual and social. Fans of the site have been struggling over the better part of the past year as Yahoo shuttered operations at the seminal social bookmarking site and then sold it off to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. For months now, devotees have wondered what Hurley and Chen would do with the site, shuddering a bit at the new terms of service. But now Delicious is finally back and, I daresay it, still fresh, interesting and effective.

Delicious was a pioneer of the Web 2.0 movement – creating an application that allowed you to log in and save key web content from any browser, peruse the favorite items of other members on the site and connect over web content. Delicious retains its social sharing DNA, but changes the “network” and “fans” to “followers” and adds a new feature, Stacks, that looks a lot like a playlist of your favorite content. In other words, Stacks allows you to curate related web content and share that curation on the site – much like Scoop.It and Pinterest. Also new: multi word tags and media previews. And, according to Hurley and Chen, they have a lot more features waiting in the wings to add value to the Delicious  experience.

The good news is that saving content via the familiar checkered bookmarklet in the browser will remain intact. The better news is that all your hard, curation work is going to get a whole lot shinier. Check out an example of a “stack” of links about Texas wildfires:

Also, check out the interview with Hurley and Chen over at AllThingsD – I wish them – and Delicious – all the best.

Relieved, With A Side of Trepidation

This morning, as I read my morning RSS feeds, my eyes strayed to an entry that immediately brought on a wave of euphoria: Delicious has been purchased!

Delicious, the venerable social bookmarking website (since 2003 – practically a centenarian in Web years), has long been my favorite bookmark storage tool and the news last fall that Yahoo was going to “sunset” the service was not well met by me, and countless others. There was a mad scramble to export marks, locate alternative services, board up the doors and duct tape the windows and find a suitable tinfoil hat. But I still couldn’t bring myself to abandon Delicious. It works so effectively for me. Tagging and saving via my bookmarklets is like second nature.

And, guess who’s buying? None other than the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Now, if they don’t know how to build and promote a web service, then who the heck does?

Then, the euphoria gives way to a nagging sense of doubt.

Why the trepidation, you ask?  Well, it won’t be a behind-the-scenes, no-blip-on-the-user-radar kind of change over. Hurley and Chen have indicated that they will be creating a new service from existing Delicious data, which you can opt into or, well, do what you would have done anyway if Yahoo just tanked it. The new service is to be called AVOS. There is my first problem. Delicious is a MUCH better name. What the heck does AVOS mean? And, Delicious has a great deal of name recognition that clearly Chen and Hurley are not overly concerned about. Which makes me wonder, what exactly is AVOS going to be about. I doubt it will be just about bookmarking.

Delicious says that that Chen and Hurley’s startup will “continue the service that users have come to know and love and by working with the community, make the site even easier and more fun to save, share and discover the web’s ‘tastiest’ content.”

O.k. We shall have to see. I hate to sound curmudgeonly, but I happen to really love Delicious the way it works right now. So, long and short. I am very happy that Delicious is not destined for the dustbin (yet). However, I am silently and fervently praying that they keep the site’s bones intact. Delicious works well right now. Why fix it if it’s not broken?

Signed, “Cautious in Canton.”

Putting the Social in Search with Wajam

Big news last week when Google further integrated social connections into search results. The trend to merge social with search hinges on the perception that personalization will improve relevance. While my sense of this is that it fully depends upon what you are searching (i.e., personalization may help a great deal when searching a restaurant, but might not be so helpful when searching facts and figures), there is little doubt that social savvy, personalization, and relevance are the direction in which the Web is inexorably moving.

That said, you can one-up Google’s social by integrating a nifty little extension into your browser called Wajam (link here). This social extension meshes your friend’s content with your search results within the browser itself, and not just in Google. As a result, you can get that social-personal-relevance goodness in Google, Yahoo and Bing while using Chrome, Firefox, Safari and even IE.

Once installed, simply search in the engines and the most relevant Wajam results show at the top. The result includes information about the sharer, their comments and whether any other friends shared the same content. Implicit in this latter stat is the concept that 10,000 people can’t be wrong – the more trusted sources sharing an item, the more relevant, important and useful that item must be.

Image from Wajam FAQ.


There are further stats along the very top of the results. Additionally, starred or shared items of your own will also show at the top. View more results from friends  will show the top 11 results. If you click a friend’s name, their specific shared items will show. 

Image from Wajam FAQ


There are even more stats – see how many people shared a particular result and click the number showing to see all comments. Sort results by newest or oldest and by sources.

Image from Wajam FAQ.


There are search terms listed under the top result and clicking on them will further refine the results.

You can link your Twitter, Facebook and Delicious accounts to serve as social sources for your Wajam results, and you can even import bookmarks from your browser. This enables you to leverage your own saved and shared content as well as the content saved and shared by your Twitter and Facebook friends.

I have commented in the Studio on the ability to search and leverage your social content before in connection with my review of Greplin (link here). Wajam offers another take on that task, this one residing in your browser and happening as naturally as a Google search. Whether you buy into the whole social/personal/relevance formula or not, Wajam is a heavyweight contender and deserves a spot in your Web search tool box.

Wajam is in private beta right now, unfortunately, but you can attempt to jockey for a spot by “liking” their Facebook page or following them on Twitter. Can’t hurt to cut the line, so to speak.

Zootool: When You Want To Corral Your Web

More content means more overwhelm. It really is true. Sometimes you are surfing aimlessly and see something you want to save for later. Sometimes you are engaged in pointed search and you see something off topic that you know you need in another matter. Or sometimes, you are researching and need to snip and collect the efforts for later assimilation and aggregation.

Delicious and Diigo are the main players in the social bookmarking realm. Evernote and OneNote are competitive products in the notetaking / notebooking realm (OneNote is an off-line tool, while Evernote is everywhere).  Zotero is the academic option, offering full citation and archival benefits.

If you are a visual learner, you might want to try out Zootool (link here). Unlike FFFFound, which is limited to web images, Zootool will allow you to snip and save pretty much everything but audio.

It offers a function similar to Delicious or Diigo, but with visual rather than pure text entries. You can organize content in packs (instead of folders or, as in Evernote, notebooks). The original URL is saved, and you can edit the identifying information and tag your content accordingly. There is URL shortening, and the ability to share with social networks (such as Twitter, Delicious and Friendfeed), and quick-blogging sites like Tumblr. There is a social aspect to the site, in that you can follow others and publish links to your other on-line outposts.

The result is your “zoo” – a series of visual “files”, with tags and links, organized by type accessed by tabs marked “all”, “images”, “videos”, “documents”, and “pages.”  If you click on the image, you can either download the doc, navigate to the page or pull the image or vid. You can further organize and identify your content in packs, titling the packs accordingly. The interface is easy and intuitive.

Zootool upports more than 30 video plattforms, Slideshare and Scribd Documents and employs a special reader for Wikipedia-articles and RSS feeds. Zootool can also accompany you on the got with a mobile version for the iPhone.

With any archiving, bookmarking service, one has to be concerned with backing up the informatinon. Zootool is web-only. I haven’t yet determined the best way to create a redundant system to protect against loss of saved snips, other than possibly saving everything over to Delicious.

Furthermore, with its visual bent, Zootool does appear to be aiming for artistic types or those primarily interested in images. Nonetheless, as a visual person, I find Zootool’s interface far easier to scan than Delicious. It could definitely serve a purpose, particularly with respect to combining your docs, video and image snips all in one place.

I have to chuckle, though, at the logo. Color scheme is similar to Evernote but, in place of an elephant, insert a rhinoceros.

Hat tip to John Hicks at The Hickensian.

“Dumbing” Down Search: Bing vs. Google

When looking for information on the Web, what search service do you turn to these days? Are you still a diehard Google fan and feel most comfortable with pages of popular links based on loosely associated keywords that can be tweaked by advance search form, which you can then follow to find more information and, ultimately, your “best” answer? Do you scan the source of those links on the Google results page to make your own assessments as to the potential veracity of the information excerpted? Do you seesaw back and forth between results page and linked sites until you are satisfied that you have the skinny?

Or, would you rather just get an answer and run? If you fall into this growing category of on-line searchers, then maybe Microsoft’s search upstart Bing is your answer.

Paul Boutin at VentureBeat offers the observation that Google’s search methodology is quickly becoming obsolete and that Bing is offering the better option for today’s searchers:. In Boutin’s own words “[i]n short, the people who use search engines today are nothing like the people who build them. Online, the normals have finally displaced the geeks.” His bullet points encapsulate the new search mentality:

  • Don’t give me a link to the answer. Just give me the answer.
  • Pictures are better than words.
  • I’m totally fine with getting search results from a Microsoft database of multimedia celebrity flash cards instead of from the entire Internet, if it tells me what I want to know

Bing meets these needs beautifully and has garnered ten percent of search traffic in the approximately 6 months it has been in business. From canned “cards” prepared by Bing-heads for frequently searched topics to answers pulled directly from Wikipedia, searches can easily “click and run” with their answers on Bing.

Google, concededly, requires a bit more effort. But Google offers the opportunity to view many different answers to a particular query and weigh the results based on the strength of the site from which the information is pulled.

I definitely see a place for both strategies in the search arena. But much like yesterday’s diatribe on the use of Wikipedia (never in a court room), searchers need to be cognizant of what they are getting and consider when the extra effort is necessary. Like Boutin, I sincerely hope that Google does not bow to the peer pressure and “dumb down” search. I still get a pitter patter in my heart when I see services like Wolfram/Alpha and the various semantic search tools providing yet another angle on the information. Because, as we all know, rarely is there one single true answer to any question, even the query: how do I get from Gloucester to Boston? There are still geeks out there like me who want to be shown the how and why of it.

You can call me the Norm Abrams of Search.

In a (barely) related note, I came across an interesting new bookmarking service this morning called Faviki. Like Delicious, it allows you to collect and tag your bookmarked sites. Unlike Delicious, it offers suggested tags based on semantic overlay. Unfortunately, the semantic overlay is from Wikipedia, as this still remains the largest repository of common information on the Web. Nonetheless, it is an interesting application of semantic technology and may be worth a try. Particularly since it now allows for importing your huge library of Delicious bookmarks.

"Dumbing" Down Search: Bing vs. Google

When looking for information on the Web, what search service do you turn to these days? Are you still a diehard Google fan and feel most comfortable with pages of popular links based on loosely associated keywords that can be tweaked by advance search form, which you can then follow to find more information and, ultimately, your “best” answer? Do you scan the source of those links on the Google results page to make your own assessments as to the potential veracity of the information excerpted? Do you seesaw back and forth between results page and linked sites until you are satisfied that you have the skinny?

Or, would you rather just get an answer and run? If you fall into this growing category of on-line searchers, then maybe Microsoft’s search upstart Bing is your answer.

Paul Boutin at VentureBeat offers the observation that Google’s search methodology is quickly becoming obsolete and that Bing is offering the better option for today’s searchers:. In Boutin’s own words “[i]n short, the people who use search engines today are nothing like the people who build them. Online, the normals have finally displaced the geeks.” His bullet points encapsulate the new search mentality:

  • Don’t give me a link to the answer. Just give me the answer.
  • Pictures are better than words.
  • I’m totally fine with getting search results from a Microsoft database of multimedia celebrity flash cards instead of from the entire Internet, if it tells me what I want to know

Bing meets these needs beautifully and has garnered ten percent of search traffic in the approximately 6 months it has been in business. From canned “cards” prepared by Bing-heads for frequently searched topics to answers pulled directly from Wikipedia, searches can easily “click and run” with their answers on Bing.

Google, concededly, requires a bit more effort. But Google offers the opportunity to view many different answers to a particular query and weigh the results based on the strength of the site from which the information is pulled.

I definitely see a place for both strategies in the search arena. But much like yesterday’s diatribe on the use of Wikipedia (never in a court room), searchers need to be cognizant of what they are getting and consider when the extra effort is necessary. Like Boutin, I sincerely hope that Google does not bow to the peer pressure and “dumb down” search. I still get a pitter patter in my heart when I see services like Wolfram/Alpha and the various semantic search tools providing yet another angle on the information. Because, as we all know, rarely is there one single true answer to any question, even the query: how do I get from Gloucester to Boston? There are still geeks out there like me who want to be shown the how and why of it.

You can call me the Norm Abrams of Search.

In a (barely) related note, I came across an interesting new bookmarking service this morning called Faviki. Like Delicious, it allows you to collect and tag your bookmarked sites. Unlike Delicious, it offers suggested tags based on semantic overlay. Unfortunately, the semantic overlay is from Wikipedia, as this still remains the largest repository of common information on the Web. Nonetheless, it is an interesting application of semantic technology and may be worth a try. Particularly since it now allows for importing your huge library of Delicious bookmarks.

Scoopler Scoops Real-Time Social Media News

Just released into public beta on May 8, 2009, Scoopler is a search engine that aggregates and organizes content on various social media and sharing sites across the internet in real-time updates responsive to your search inquiry. Services include Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, Flickr, etc.  Scoopler accomplishes its purpose by indexing live updates. It ranks the popularity of links within the updates and shows trending memes. Scoopler also allows you to “reshare” or return a link back to Twitter or Facebook or the other services it supports.

With its real-time aspect and easy sharing feature, Scoopler seems another worthy tool to include in your investigative and information-sharing arsenal.

Hat tip to Pandia Search Engine News.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]