Delicious scare

During the last few days I’ve been asked by several people what I think about the scary bit of news regarding the shutdown of Delicious.   I’ve replied individually several times, but I feel that a blog post is in order.  So here it goes.

First of all, Delicious is not being shutdown.  Here is a quote from their blog:

Is Delicious being shut down? And should I be worried about my data?
– No, we are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive.
Secondly, if you are worried about your data, just make a backup of it.  Delicious had an export option for years.  Login to your account and you’ll be able to export your bookmarks from the Settings page.
Thirdly, I can understand that news like that could throw some people into a search for alternative mode.  And here are alternatives of them out there.  I haven’t tried any of them in years, since I’m a happy Delicious user.  But if I were forced to choose one day, Xmarks would be my first choice.  My reasons are:
  • All features that are vital for me are a part of the free subscription.  More features are available for premium subscribers.
  • Cross-browser support that covers all browsers that I care about.
  • Support for sharing of bookmarks.  That’s the main reason for me to actually use a social bookmarking service instead of a much simpler bookmark synchronization service.
  • Support for private bookmarks.  I want to share as much as possible, but not everything.
  • Easy integration with third-party tools and services.  For example, using an RSS feed.
  • Support for direct import from Delicious.

But with all that said, I want to stress it once again – Delicious is not shutting down.  So if you use and enjoy the service, simply continue doing just that.  No need to worry. – my wishlist is back

Long time ago I used to have a wishlist on this site.  If I remember correctly, I even had a few.  It was a rather helpful piece of information for the times when I was doing online shopping, as well as for my friends and family before the big holidays (hint: presents).

There were two problems with keeping up a wishlist.  One was rather small – people couldn’t find it easily, since it was hidden in the archives.  And one big – it was a lot of effort to keep it up-to-date.  I kept losing it myself all the time, and I was always forgetting to update it.   These two problems caused it to finally be lost in the sea of other posts on this blog, and, probably, never to be found again.

I’m glad to say though, that a better version of my wishlist is back.  It’s something that I wish I had years ago.  It’s dead simple, easy to see (no registrations required or anything of such non-sense), and it’s also extremely easy for me to keep updated.  This new wishlist is on

The name sounds good, but the link is impossible to remember, much like the original one. is a very simple, yet very smart way of wishlisting.  It utilizes my account and the “wishlist” tag, which is something very natural to use for tagging items of the wishlist.  And so that I won’t try to remember the URL, or, even worse, attempt to type it, or lose this wishlist in the history of posts once again, I decided to make a big and important link to it, at the top of the site.  Yes, that’s right, you can see it together with the rest of the main navigational menu.

Read it later Firefox extension

Web Worker Daily is being extra helpful recently. Via one of their posts I learned about Read It Later Firefox extension. It’s simple and, as many simple things – genius! It adds two buttons to your Firefox toolbar, which you can use to control your “I don’t have time for it now, but I want to read it later” list. Great idea, much needed tool, and brilliant implementation – that’s what I can say about it. It has all, and just enough of, functionality that I’d expect from such an extension.

Go check it out! There is even a video demonstration on how it can be used. Instant favorite.

Tip for web promoters

If you care about web promotion of your web site, if you post articles titled “10 steps to do XYZ” or “ABC in 3 minutes”, if you want your blog posts to be bookmarked across all social networks, if you follow your incoming links with more attention than your personal hygiene, then here is a tip for you.

Look at the limitations that social bookmarking services impose on their users.  Make sure that you provide a quick way to bookmark your site with sufficient information which is within those limitations.

Take for example. Which limitations does it impose on the users?  There are a few, but the main one is the length of the description.  Whenever I bookmark your web site, I can only post 255 characters of the description.  This is too much and this is too little.

This is too much if I will have to type my own description.  I don’t have the time to describe all the web sites that I bookmark.  For many of them, I don’t even have any idea of what to write, since I bookmark the web site to check it out later… So whenever I bookmark a web site, I look around for a quick way to generate that description.  And the easiest and fastest way is always a copy-paste.

That’s where that description length limitation becomes too small.  Most web sites have an “About” page these days.  But it’s too long for a description.  A couple of paragraphs could do, and I can almost always find those paragraphs to copy-paste, but they almost never fit into 255 characters.  That’s where you come in.

First of all, make sure that there is a piece of text, less than 255 characters long, that gives me an idea of what the article is or post or page or web site is about.  Secondly, make sure that I can find that piece of text easily.  Make it bold.  Put a border around it.   Slap a “Synopsis” or “About” or “In brief” label somewhere nearby.  You can even go as noisy as “ users might want to use this as description: …”.

Why would you want to go into all that trouble?  Because this will help me, your visitor, to keep my bookmarks organized and annotated.  I will be able to find this bookmark much faster later on.  And that means that chances of me coming back, of me sending this link to someone else, or blogging about it are much higher.  And that is what you, as a web promoter, want.  Isn’t it?

Endless loop

I’ve been using Gmail for bookmarking for quite some time now.  It works, but not as good as specialized bookmarking applications, such as .  So, I’m moving many of my bookmarks from Gmail to .  A few minutes later, I see them coming up in my Google Reader subscriptions (I’m subscribed to my own feeds as well for easier searching).  I look through them and think “these are some cool links!  I should add them to my bookmarks.”.  Puzzled…