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del.icio.us v net.ritio.us?

Richard MacManus has an entry up that makes reference to an interview that he did with Joshua Schachter, he of del.icio.us fame. Schachter, in talking about the future of my favorite social bookmarking site, explains that

While delicious previously has been very much about just the data, in the future I hope to allow our users themselves to come forward within the system. Additionally, I want to help people connect with others within the system, either to people they already know or discovering new people and communities based on interest.

There's a lively little to-and-fro in the comments, so I won't repeat some of those arguments, but I should say that I have my doubts. Part of it is that "sellout" mentality--the notion that a brighter, shinier, more run-of-the-mill SNA version of delicious will alienate the core users--but I try really hard to resist that part of my thinking.

The bigger issue for me is that there's something kind of cool about just having users exist as a special class of tag, which is how the site currently operates. Inviting them to "come forward" also invites the kind of performativity that rewards certain kinds of behaviors at the expense of others. The downside of the status quo is that you have to be somewhat familiar with how the site works to enact the kind of "discovery" that Schachter talks about.

So while the bare bones of the site, and the idea of tagging itself, has been incorporated all over the place, and almost certainly creates a certain amount of upgrade pressure, my inclination would be to resist it. The neutrality of the site is one of the reasons that I use it for my work on CCC--shifted to an SNA, I'd probably end up rethinking that approach.

We'll see, though.


I have never used delicious and, though I've been aware of it, have never really understood what it would do that is valuable. I keep bookmarks in my newsreader when I need them. It has always made me wonder why it is such a "go to" place for this type of thing.

As one of the commenters has noted, it seems like Ma.gnolia.com already does this sort of high-profile user thing.

I wonder if someone else will build a cloudalicio.us-style way to get this functionality without modifying del.icious... though of course a stable API would be necessary.

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