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The big story today outside of the OMG white OMG iPhone OMG was the acquisition of the Delicious bookmarking site. Former owner Yahoo has sold the bookmarking service to the founders of online video sharing service YouTube and their new company AVOS. In reviewing about 20 blog/news posts about the acquisition, so far there has been no chatter about the acquisition price.
Back in December, Yahoo hinted that they would close Delicious service – a move I noted would hurt Yahoo within the developer/early adopter tech community. I also thought the best place for Delicious would be to be acquired by commenting service Disqus. I still think Disqus should consider expanding into bookmarking as it would make the service more sticky and could provide even more benefits to publishers.
This evening I received an email from Yahoo regarding the Delicious acquisition. There are a couple of interesting bits that got me wondering exactly what did YouTube founder Steve Chen and Chad Hurley purchase? I assumed when I read all of the copies of the press releases that the Delicious site would be put onto a blu-ray disc, handed off to AVOS, and then the entire service would be available as it is today but now hosted by AVOS.
Earlier this month Yahoo announced that they would be selling, no closing, no sun-setting, no selling the bookmarking service Delicious. Many tech bloggers were very upset at the non-announcement by Yahoo. I believe that Yahoo made developers angry by closing (now they are selling) Delicious.
I immediately thought that the best possible acquirer for Delicious was Disqus. I still believe commenting service Disqus is well positioned to acquire Delicious.
AOL Techcrunch blogger Michael Arrington noted yesterday that Yahoo turned down a Delicious sale in 2009 with an acquisition price of $15 million. He also noted that his base of contacts would be interested in an acquisition with a sub-$5 million dollar pricetag.
Let me explain why Disqus + Delicious makes sense and would help increase Disqus’ visibility and stickyness. More and more sites that I use on a daily basis are using Disqus for their commenting engine (I use Disqus on my transit resource InsideTransit). Disqus provides a page (which I doubt many people ever visit) where you can view all of your comments – or anyone else’s comments left using the Disqus service across any blog.
During the time CN hoster Rackspace was down (just about three hours!), I read some of the posts regarding the decision by Yahoo to close the web bookmarking service Delicious. I remember years ago that Delicious was a big traffic driver if you hit the front page…no idea if this is still the case as CN hasn’t made the home page since the Jets had a winning season.
You will probably see 50 “top x delicious replacements” posts over the next few days – Zee’s Next Web appears to have posted the first list. I would ask that someone in the Portland area check in on ReadWriteWeb writer Marshall Kirkpatrick over the next few days as I know how much he passionately cared about Delicious.
I am not going to reblog the facts of the case – you can read 100 other posts for that. But I did realize something by reading the posts and the messages on Twitter. Yahoo just pissed off the one group they shouldn’t have. That group? Developers.
I’ve written in the past that Yahoo should have learned to embrace the developer community. I believe Yahoo would be a much stronger company today had they realized that getting developers excited about your offerings means more usage of said offerings. If you look at Apple and Google, the developer community is what made their devices a success. The iPhone or Android phone would NEVER be the huge moneymakers and game changers if it wasn’t for us, the developers.
When I think of building an app using an API, I can’t remember the last time I thought of using Yahoo – whether it’s for search, maps, etc. I go to Google because while Google isn’t known for customer service, they do seem to care about developers. And now I wonder if any developer will want to work with Yahoo when they know that services in their area might be closed at any time.
Look, we all know that Delicious probably isn’t used by mainstream Internet users. My mother isn’t saving her card club website on delicious – she saves it on AOL or in Internet Explorer. But Delicious did have a very passionate community (just see Marshall’s post) of early adopters, developers and other techies who used the service on a regular basis.
I’d love to learn what it actually cost to run Delicious. I just can’t imagine that it was a huge expense. My guess is that the Yahoo executive team saw no revenues coming from the Delicious line item and cut it. Sometimes it’s about goodwill.
I am sorry Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, but I think you just made a huge mistake. One that will sting today but will hurt for a much longer period of time.