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Yahoo Just Pissed Off The One Group They Shouldn’t With Delicious Closure
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.