Delicious is leaving a bad taste in Web surfers’ mouths by announcing it may not be around for much longer. Yahoo, which owns it, is looking to sell or shut down Delicious.
Avid Delicious users are in a panic at the thought of not being able to access their bookmarks. Luckily, there is a way to export Delicious bookmarks.
Okay, so you’ve exported them. Then what? What are you supposed to with them now? If you choose to migrate to another bookmarking service, you have a lot of options. Here are some suggestions:
These are web-based services like Delicious that let you save bookmarks, share them with other users and see what other people save.
- Historio.us is for people who miss the days when when Delicious ended in “.us”. It has one-click bookmarking, snapshots of saved pages, tagging and search. You can use it for free until you have more than 300 bookmarks. (Note that it has a tool to import other bookmarks)
- Licorize offers several ways to share your bookmarks (bookmarklet, Chrome or Firefox extension and web page). It’s free. But if you pay a subscription fee you get project-like functionality that allows you to categorize bookmarks and assign them to team members.
- Pinboard.in is like Delicious in terms of its simplicity. This should help it with speed of service. The services charges a registration fee and a yearly subscription if you want to archive bookmarks on your computer.
- Diigo is the more complex option with collaboration and commenting features. It can be accessed with iPad and Android apps. The service is free but it does run ads. It also has a tool to import Delicious bookmarks.
- Google Bookmarks is a free service that’s easy to use. If you have a Google account, you can save bookmarks from a Google search or use the bookmarklet. You can organize the bookmarks into lists and make the lists public. But that’s about it for features.
- Blinklist lets you quickly bookmark links and share them. It also lets you save the pages for offline viewing.
These tools are meant more for private viewing. You can access them from any browser that supports the add on.
- Xmarks is more for people who just want to use their bookmarks on different computers. It’s free and easy to use. It is important that the developers threatened to shut it down earlier this year. But another service has bought it and has plans to offer subscription options in 2011.
- Google Chrome Sync is built into the Chrome browser so you don’t have to download anything. It’s as free and as easy as Xmarks.
- Sync2It is another browser add-on that allows you to sync across multiple browsers and computers.
These are services that are like bookmarking services but have other functions. They may not be the best bookmarking tools, but they can do the job
- Evernote offers a way to save notes and clip web pages. The bookmarklet makes it useful for saving URLs and categorizing. The already popular service can be accessed on the web and offers Mac, Windows, iPad/iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Windows Mobile apps. The features are free — but you get more storage and sharing options with the premium version. It, too, has a tool to import Delicious bookmarks.
- Zootool is somewhat like Evernote. It lets you save pages, documents, videos and images that you can share and tag.
- Instapaper isn’t meant to be a bookmarking tool. It’s a handy way to save web pages for later reading. You also can read the saved pages offline. In a pinch, you can use it as a bookmarking alternative. It is free but allows you to become a subscriber. At this point a subscription has no benefits, so it’s like making a donation to the developer.
- WordPress blogs can be used as an online notebook. The “Press This” bookmarklet also allows you to save bookmarks in a pinch. It’s not as easy as the dedicated services but it has tagging and sharing if you desire. Heck, with a little bit of work, you can use it to host your own — albeit perhaps crude — social bookmarking service.
Conclusion (and a warning)
Delicious may or may not shut down. Who knows what it will look like if it is sold. Xmarks also almost bit the dust. You must be careful about how much you rely on free services. Even if they don’t shut down, they may switch to subscription fees that don’t suit you.
There can also be a lack of accountability when it comes to security and consistency. You don’t have much foundation for complaining when things are free.
If you’re using any of these services for business, consider paying for a subscription. You may end up with more stable and secure service by doing so — and help those who are offering these services maintain — and possibly improve — them over the long term.