Monthly Archives: September 2011

Delicious shoots itself in the foot

I’m a great fan of social bookmarking and have a large (1300+) collection of bookmarks on Delicious, all with some text copied from the page or my own annotation.  Delicious has its weak points; my personal pet hate was searching, for which you had to submit your search term exactly. Even then it didn’t always find a bookmark you knew was there.

It seems to be the season for revamps. Today, soon after Facebook’s much-derided effort, and in the wake of being purchased by YouTube’s founders, Delicious unveiled its new look.  It’s hard to see how this is any sort of improvement.  It is now impossible to search your own bookmarks. Since only about half my tags are now visible, it’s not really clear how I navigate my own bookmarks at all.  ‘Managing your network’ lists ‘profiles that follow you’, except that they aren’t – they are the ones I’m following.  There’s no obvious way to follow anyone else, or indeed to find out who is following me.   I don’t get shown my own tags when I tag a new bookmark, so I can’t tell if I’m creating a new tag category unnecessarily. It is now only possible to see 10 bookmarks at a time. You can only see a selection of comments made by other users for the same page.  And so on.  They are very proud of their new ‘stacking’ facility (‘Join now and get stacking’ exhorts the home page), which allows you to collect bookmarks together, but I want my tag collection back!

The cynic in me wonders whether the introduction of stacks and the difficulty in managing one’s own personal bookmark collection are a less-than-subtle way of pushing YouTube content (or advertisers’ websites) at the user.  This could be done, for example via the ‘Featured Stacks’ on the homepage (current themes of these include surfing, doughnuts, dog costumes, Las Vegas showgirls and ‘nutrition tips’. I don’t want any of these! I want my tags and I want to be able to search my own bookmarks!)

Fortunately, I copied my bookmarks over to Diigo earlier this year, so I have access to most of them. I have exported my current collection to Diigo too, but have been warned there will be a delay before they are online: ‘in the last day or so, tens of thousands of users have entrusted us with millions of precious bookmarks collected over the years… ‘.  Now I wonder why that is! (Having said that, they did upload my bookmarks within a few minutes).

Save Floppy!

This is in fact the title of a book in the Oxford Reading Tree (Floppy is a dog).  But while the floppy disk itself is all but obsolete, it is still associated with the act of saving by its use as an icon.

Today I went to a course on our TopDesk incident management software, and among a battery of icons on the screen was a picture of a floppy disk one had to click in order to save changes.  I wonder whether this association of imagery will long outlive the floppy disk itself – rather as old-fashioned phones with a dial and a big handset still symbolise ‘telephone’, and the warning for an unguarded level crossing is a sign depicting a steam train?