As I have written before, the social bookmarking tool Delicious was one of the most useful social web applications for me. Sure it was convenient to store my bookmarks on the web, but the real power of the application was that I could build a network of people – trusted sources – and see what they were bookmarking as well.
Many of the people I connected with on Delicious were trying to solve the same problems I was, or working on the same platforms as me, so when they shared a bookmark, it was almost always relevant.
But the true power of Delicious wasn’t the real time stream of relevant information I got from my trusted network of 50 or so contacts. No, the real value in building that network came when I needed to find information to solve a problem. When I needed a recommendation, I would go to Delicious ahead of Google and search my network for their recommendations, and would almost always find a few network recommended resources.
A few months ago I started volunteering with my local community association, helping them with their WordPress site, setting up a Twitter account & Facebook page and other assorted web tasks. Tonight I went to find a WordPress plugin to auto-post blog posts to the Twitter feed. I have used Twitter Tools in the past and have liked it, but when I went to install it got a notice that it wasn’t supported in this version of WordPress. Rather than install an unsupported plugin, I wondered what else was out there.
Off to Delicious to see what my network recommends. Only what’s this? I can’t search my networks bookmarks anymore? Seriously???? I mean, I get we’re all into the real-time web these days, but there is something to be said for having a ready made archive of content waiting for me, vetted by people I trust, that I can search when I need.
I am bummed. One of the most powerful features of a social web application – a feature that I used quite a bit in the past – gone. Or at least buried so deep in the new interface that I can’t seem to find it. The entire collective intelligence and wisdom of MY crowd now inaccessible to me.
Please, if someone knows a way to search a Delicious network, let me know cause right now Delicious is leaving a mighty sour taste in my mouth.
Photo: Useless at the Moment by quinn.anya used under Creative Commons license