YouTube Founders Aim to Revamp Delicious

There is a huge swirl of innovation going on in the liquid media central to people’s lives: managing the torrent of links coming at us, storing, sharing, collating, and curating. The founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, have acquired Delicious as the launchpad for their take on that:

Jenna Wortham via NY Times

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.”

As an experiment, I am going to switch back to Delicious from my haphazard collection of partially unsatisfying services, and see where they take things.

YouTube Founders Aim to Revamp Delicious

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