February 25, 2021

YouTube Founders Aim to Revamp Delicious

More recently they picked an unlikely candidate to be their next Web sensation: a Yahoo castoff.

The men are trying to inject new life into Delicious, a social bookmarking service that, in its time, was popular among the technorati, but failed to catch on with a broader audience.

“What we plan to do,” Mr. Hurley said in an interview here last week, “is try to introduce Delicious to the rest of the world.”

Created in 2003, Delicious lets people save links from around the Web and organize them using a simple tagging system, assigning keywords like “neuroscience” or “recipes.” It was praised for the way it allowed easy sharing of those topical links. The site’s early popularity spurred Yahoo to snap it up in 2005 — but in the years after that Yahoo did little with it.

In December, leaked internal reports from Yahoo hinted that the company was planning to sell or shut down the service.

At the same time, Mr. Chen and Mr. Hurley, who had recently formed a new company called Avos and begun renting space a few blocks from the original YouTube offices in San Mateo, had been brainstorming ideas for their next venture. One problem they kept circling around was the struggle to keep from drowning in the flood of news, cool new sites and videos surging through their Twitter accounts and RSS feeds, a glut that makes it difficult to digest more than a sliver of that material in a given day.

“Twitter sees something like 200 million tweets a day, but I bet I can’t even read 1,000 a day,” Mr. Chen said. “There’s a waterfall of content that you’re missing out on.”

He added, “There are a lot of services trying to solve the information discovery problem, and no one has got it right yet.”

When the men heard about Yahoo’s plans to close Delicious, their ears perked up, and they placed a personal call to Jerry Yang, one of the founders of Yahoo, and made him an offer. (They declined to disclose financial details of the transaction.)

 At heart, they say, the revamped service will still resemble the original Delicious when it opens to the public, which Mr. Chen and Mr. Hurley said would happen later this year.  But their blueprint involves an overhaul of the site’s design and the software and the systems used to tag and organize links.

The current home page of Delicious features a simple cascade of blue links, the most recent pages bookmarked by its users, and it tends to largely be dominated technology news. But the new Delicious aims to be more of a destination, a place where users can go to see the most recent links shared around topical events, like the Texas wildfires or the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the gadget reviews and tech tips.

The home page would feature browseable “stacks,” or collections of related images, videos and links shared around topical events. The site would also make personalized recommendations for users, based on their sharing habits. “We want to simplify things visually, mainstream the product and make it easier for people to understand what they’re doing,” Mr. Hurley said.

Mr. Chen gives the example of trying to find information about how to repair a vintage car radio or plan an exotic vacation.

“You’re Googling around and have eight to 10 browser tabs of results, links to forums and message boards, all related to your search,” he said. The new Delicious, he said, provides “a very easy way to save those links in a collection that someone else can browse.”

They say they decided to buy Delicious rather than build their own service for a number of reasons.

“We know how hard it would be to build a brand,” Mr. Hurley said. “Delicious lets us hit the ground running with its existing footprint.”

A number of sites already have Delicious buttons as an option for sharing content — right alongside Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, Mr. Hurley said.

But Mr. Chen said the team also “liked the idea of saving one of the original Web 2.0 companies that started the social sharing movement on the Web.” He added: “There was some sense of history. We were genuinely sad that it would be shut down.”

Both founders acknowledge that they were never diehard Delicious users. “I signed up in 2005 and I didn’t use it again until 2011,” Mr. Chen said with an embarrassed laugh.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=8267989e1048933a5784b4fa176344df

Speak Your Mind