del.icio.us and general update

[For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for my next post, as an FYI, I turned all Luddite and canceled my home internet access.  That means I only have my phone for home web access, meaning I won't be typing lengthy posts very much anymore.  Since I've been feeling like I have very little to say anyway--writing burnout, I think--I dare say you aren't missing much.]

So, del.icio.us is Delicious.com now.  I think I will never be able to type it accurately again.  Typing del.icio.us is so second nature to me that any time I start a word with de, it automatically starts coming out as del.icio.us.  But in any case, the new del.icio.us…

Anyone who knows me and my fiendish obsession with del.icio.us knows I am not entirely a fan of the new design, probably as it should be.  The new design is decidedly NOT for power users, and they’ve been very upfront about that.  But, still, it is a tad frustrating, especially since it is a step backwards in productivity for me.  But anyway, my personal reaction is less important than how I see this impacting my professional life.

I may not be reading the right blogs, or perhaps I am just having to delete more RSS feeds than I’d like due to the frankly overwhelming amount of work I’ve got going on (I still feel like I’m in recovery from MLA and those other pesky vacations I’ve had in the interim), but I haven’t seen a whole lot of coverage of how this new version of del.icio.us has impacted libraries.

I was poking around in the new forum and found this comment from the Vancouver Public Library (hey, if anyone can figure out how to link to a single comment in that forum, let me know!):

We’re very disappointed that delicious failed to provide any warning that the original API was going to be discontinued in favour of a completely altered version. The lack of notice of this significant change meant that every one of our 5,000+ external web links broke without warning, with faulty HTML rendering also breaking the navigation and layout of all pages that contained external links. Because the new API was introduced at the end of the week, our website functionality remained seriously impaired for several days until we were able to implement a patch.

It would be very much appreciated if in the future, delicious either provided account holders with advance notice of changes to their API, or continued to provide access to the earlier version of the API to give users a chance to migrate to the new platform.

This is a major issue.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have long been advocating for libraries to use del.icio.us not only for personal productivity, but for organizing and maintaining links in subject guides and etc.  I’ve always seen it as a low cost way to keep subject guides a little more up to date, flexible, and easier to maintain and update.  Of course, when you are depending upon free services for the content of your library web site, you are just asking for trouble, I suppose.

At the moment, I have been working on two projects that depend upon pulling in information from del.icio.us, one for my place of employ and one for an organization with whom I have been known to work.  These projects were started largely because I pushed for them and for the use of del.icio.us in them.  Now, I am starting to think that my optimism about the constancy and usefulness of del.icio.us has been grossly misplaced.  Do I continue forth with these projects, or do I rethink the use of free online tools for maintaining library content?

I’d be curious to know what other people in library land think, especially those who have been using del.icio.us to roll content on their library web sites.  I know there are at least a couple of medical libraries out there doing this, and hopefully there are more after MLA 2008…

I’d also be curious to know if these libraries have decided to roll their links using the API (and if so, which one) or via RSS feeds or via the Javascript that del.icio.us provides.

Talk to me!

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2 responses to “del.icio.us and general update

  1. I too am disappointed with the new format. My institution doesn’t use del.icio.us, but I do – lots.
    And I’m even more gutted that the latest version of Firefox doesn’t have a del.icio.us extension *sob*. No toolbar button! Aaagh!

  2. Lisa Philpotts

    I’ve been using Diigo for a while and have been quite happy with it. For some reason I like the interface better than Delicious, and it has some nice added features that Delicious doesn’t have.

    My profile:
    http://www.diigo.com/profile/bsn2mls

    Diigo homepage, has a nice little video summing up the features:
    http://www.diigo.com/

    Unfortunately since I haven’t used delicious in a while, it’s hard for me to do a blow by blow comparison of the two. Maybe someone else can chime in!

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