In case you hadn’t heard, Yahoo is shutting down several of its Web properties, most notably the Delicious link-sharing service. (Yahoo and Delicious have posted a vague response to the news leak, boiling down to “Yahoo wants rid of Delicious, so we hope someone else takes it over.”) That leaves Delicious users in a quandary — what do I do with my links now?
There are a number of sites you can transfer them to and enjoy much the same (if not more) functionality that existed on Delicious itself. Many of these services can directly import from Delicious, and for those that don’t, Yahoo will reportedly allow all users to export their Delicious links before shuttering the site. (And for those of you that used Backupify to archive your Delicious links, you know you’ve got an exportable/importable backup. Thus ends the shameless plug.)
Below are the four best options for your post-Delicious link life.
Pinboard.in is absolutely the best Delicious alternative, except that it isn’t free. You’ll pay a one-time fee of about $9 to signup (the cost escalates as Pinboard gets more users, so act now). For $25 a year, Pinboard will save a copy of the actual page you bookmarked a link to — forever — and will allow full text search against those snapshots. Here’s Pinboard’s own comparison of itself and Delicious. Pinboard isn’t quite the link discovery tool that Delicious was, but it’s probably the best pure link archiver out there.
Diigo is your preferred Delicious successor if link discovery and group linksharing is your main goal. Diigo has all the browser plugins and sharing widgets you could ask for, and it allows you to highlight and annotate any link (or page cache) you save, throw it in a public or private group, or label it with a public or private tag. The base level is free; if you want to do lots of highlighting or screencapping, you’ll need to spend $20 – $40 per year.
Licorize organizes your saved links into projects, so if Delicious was a Get Things Done tool for you, Licorize is the way to go. You can’t use traditional tagging, but that’s a feature, not a bug, as Licorize funnels every saved link into a kind of action item. Only save the links that actually lead to progress. Licorize is free, but if you want to share your projects with others, you’ll need to spend $5 per month.
Evernote is arguably the most popular notetaking — and content-saving — service available today. If archiving all your favorite links and page caches and camera snapshots and audio notes and anything else any web-connected device can capture in one place is your primary goal, Evernote is the service for you. It lacks, however, any of Delicious’ public-facing tag tracking or global trending options. Evernote is your notebook of the web, so don’t use it if sharing is your main goal. Basic Evernote is free but your uploads are limited; you’ll pay $5 a month to take the brakes off and let others edit your notebooks.
Google Bookmarks – While strangely unconnected to other Google products, you can build Delicious-like functionality with lists — but it takes work. Still, it’s free, at least until Google abandons it like it did Wave.
Zootool - Similar to Delicious, but focused heavily on image sharing.
Connotea – An academic reference tool similar to Delicious, but with almost no public lists or tag sharing.
Faves.com - A more basic Delicious clone, which uses crude topic aggregation rather than conventional tagging to organize links.
Historio.us - A Delicious clone predicated on full-test search of links, with little to no group or tagging functionality.
Just remember, any online service can shut down at any time, and not all of them will be as professional about it as Yahoo. You may not get notice, and you very likely won’t get an export option. Protect the time, energy and data you’ve invested with a third-party backup like Backupify.
Because the smart ones always have a backup plan.