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AVOS!Delicious: The Good, The Bad & The Future

I, like many of you, knew it was coming. I just thought I would have more time. Yes, I am talking about the makeover the new owners have given Delicious.com. Rather than put up a beta-site for people to test and give feedback first (Yahoo, for all you do wrong, I appreciate this about you so much), this morning I woke up to the new version of the site. My immediate reaction was horror and confusion, but that is my reaction to any massive change so I decided to wait a few hours and poke at it to see what I actually thought rather than write a post consisting of more exclamation points than letters. I've played with the new site and watched the reactions unfold on LJ, DW and Twitter for the past few hours so I now feel qualified to give some opinions on the changes. Now I just have to organize my four pages of scribbled notes.

The New:

Stacks

To be honest, I didn't see the point of their "playlist of the web" when I was reading interviews. Still, I was sure that people would come up with something cool to use this new organization feature. I was not anticipating the removal of all the other organization features and I am not sure how this can act as a replacement. I decided to give them a try anyway.

I created a test stack of new bookmarks. From there I managed to follow it on a test account. You still have to click on the stack to view it. It doesn't list all the bookmarks together. Frustrating, since why not just bookmark it on my computer? But, decided not to give up yet. I then updated the stack.

It took a bit of time to update, but as this is roll-out day, no big deal. Checked the dummy account following my stack. Not sure what the point of following is, really, given that the only indication of updates is the number of links as far as I can see. It doesn't give the last update time. As if we are going to remember how many bookmarks each stack has to know whether to click it or not. Yes, click it. There is no aggregation of bookmarks on what you are following. It is just a list of the stacks (or people) and you have to check each individually. Even better, you CAN'T SEE THE TAGS on the link within the stack. Not just for the followers. I can't see them for my own stack!

Bonus: the bookmarks created within the stack, I couldn't see how to tag them or add descriptions during creation. Some of them auto-tagged without any input from me leading to some strange tagging that did not match my system. Others have no tags at all. If you want to comment, you have to go back and edit them. You can add comments from within the stack by clicking edit. BUT YOU CAN'T ADD TAGS!

So, creating bookmarks within a stack isn't a good plan. And, as of yet, the comments I've added have not shown up in my bookmarks, just the stack. I don't know if this is just a delay or a "feature". Thinking it is a "feature". It does make sense, if you can have different comments for the same bookmark in different stacks, but we shall see. Might get a little annoying if you have to change your comments for each stack, though, rather than just the bookmark when you update something.

Only interesting thing was the automatic addition of images for the bookmarks in the stack (not my links) and the stack itself. This may have some benefit if it helps someone remember what page they were after using a memory of the image. Unfortunately, I can't seem to turn it off. And, if I edit, I can only select from the pictures it gives me which appear to be taken from the page. I can't pick my own to upload. No picture doesn't seem to be an option.

Stacks also require between 3 and 250 bookmarks. You can't just put all your FANDOMX recs into one if you think you'll go over. And no stacks for rare pairings etc. that don't have 3 bookmarks yet.


The Old (and how it has changed):

Searching

And I thought it wasn't very good before! I did a test search for "delicious". Got nothing about it. Instead, I got bookmarks of people's bookmarks. Also, no summaries. Not very useful. The options to search your bookmarks, everyone's, network etc. are also missing. Instead, it searches your links (if logged in), stacks and everyone. There are no pages. Instead, you have to click "view all" and then load more. That isn't going to get tiresome quickly if you want to skip ahead. Tried, "arthur" since that should get some of my own bookmarks. That worked better. I can see the summaries of my own bookmarks. Still no summaries on everyone else's.

I clicked on some of them and there ARE summaries. They just aren't displaying in the search results. Nice.

Link Pages

The link pages themselves have updated. I am only seeing the names of people who put comments. I do not see their tags. Or when they bookmarked. The only date information is the first bookmark made. Tags are to the side, sized by popularity as far as I can tell. I'm not sure if there is a limit to the number of tags that are displayed, but given other factors, I'm not hopeful. I can't tell who is using what and just click on them to search their links by that tag. Instead this does all bookmarks with that tag. You have to go to the person individually. However, you don't know what tags they use in order to do a search. And, as you can't see all the names, have good luck using it. But don't worry, it gets worse. I saved the best for last.

Following (your Network)

As you knew it, your network is gone. It is now hidden in Following under a drop down menu that pops up if you hover over your name. You can't see anyone else's Following section. Again, as with stacks, the links are not aggregated. This is just a list of people. You have to click on each name to see their bookmarks. This will take you to their stacks, NOT their bookmarks. That is a second click. There is no other information besides their icon and their name with the option to unfollow. There is no way to know if they've updated. The whole point of the network was to not check each person individually and now that is gone.

Navigating by Tags

Old!Delicious was based around the idea of tagging for organization. There were a few handy things (such as NOT tag X) that I would of liked, but, overall, it worked. Tagging was how everything was done. Surely, no one would think to change such a fundamental thing without doing a beta test first? Au contraire, mes amis. Au contraire. I have saved the best for last.

Tag Bundles and Your Tag Organization

All that time and effort you spent on organizing your tags? Wasted. Tag Bundles are gone. And Stacks are not a substitute since they aren't based around tags at all. You can't even see the tags within a stack! But don't worry, it gets better.

Your tags are not not listed in alphabetical or popular order! They are listed by the 50 (or 40 or something) last used tags as far as I can figure. That is just a guess at what is going on. It is hard to tell. At first I thought that they were ordered by popularity, but there was no way the "fandom:doctorwho" was more popular than my "type:slash" tag. That's right. Combine that with no auto-fill and it is going to be fun going through your own bookmarks. Forget other people. How do you find the stuff you've saved? I guess you are supposed to filter things down? Nope! Your tag list doesn't update when you filter. That's right, you can't see the associated tags. Well, I guess you'll just have to do it the hard way by guessing the top tag and paging through the results.

Tag Filtering

But don't worry, they've fixed that too. You don't have to page through the results. You see only the last 10 bookmarks when you filter by tag. That's right. The search feature has a view all. I haven't found it for the tag filter. Either you don't filter and page through all your bookmarks (10 at a time) or you have to guess at your tags and hope you don't have too many things bookmarked with them. You can't click to another page or to display more bookmarks! You only get 10! You can filter more, but if you've saved 11 "sam/dean" "h/c" "kink:bdsm" fics somewhere within the hundreds of SPN bookmarks you have, have fun. And you won't realize it, because they don't tell you how many results you have for each tag or combination thereof. Why bother, if you are only going to display 10 bookmarks anyway?

The "\"

Of course, you would be doing that anyway. \'s in tags don't work. Other special characters don't either. This one, I'm a bit more forgiving on. It sucks for fandom, but is understandable since most other people don't use it. I just wish it had been part of their warning when we still had access to the mass change of tags features. As of yet, I haven't found any way to mass tag editing.

(My cynical roommate pointed out that the lack of \'s could be deliberate to remove us from the user base. Don't really think that is necessary. Lack of basic functionality will do the same thing quite well.)

Search by Tag

Rather than use the Search box, it is still possible to search generally by tag. In theory. Unfortunately, it works about as well as the text search does. Some tags I know exist because I use them, but nothing shows up. As mentioned previously, the \'s are broken, but these have no \'s and still work to filter on my own links page. Nothing.

Searching for "spn" OTH does bring up results. You'll notice something funny immediately about them. They only have the SPN tag. I tried this with other tags and got the same result. It seems to be sorting results by tag in some strange way. This leads to all the results with ONLY THAT TAG being first. The most categorized, useful links are hundreds of links in. Bonus: No descriptions. At least you can see the tags and click to the next page. Trying to sort by "recent" or "popular" gives no results. I'm leaning towards this being just a bug, given that it does seem to have links for it with URLs that make sense for it. Related tags here are done by page. Unlike when you filter a user's bookmarks. Because as we all know, consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Subscriptions

If the recent/TAG doesn't work, I bet you are wondering about subscriptions. Or NOT. Because they don't exist! That's right, you now can't just put "pairingX" in your subscriptions and wait for the fic to come to you. Especially true for someone like me who reads many rare pairings in hundreds of fandoms. They don't have communities for them! There are no newsletters. I am crying a little as I write this.

Target Demographic

Someone other than us. As it stands right now, the target demographic appears to be someone who doesn't entirely know how the internet and bookmarking work. Or maybe that is the new owners. Assuming they get the bugs fixed, I am thinking that it still isn't us. I don't mean us as in "fandom", I mean us as in people who use social bookmarking a lot. Those of us that are power users. They are looking for an entirely different user base and don't care if they keep this one. They just wanted the name and the already existing links to give them a boost. I am not sure if it will work. Many of the "features" just add too much effort and overhead to use. If the existing techy and fandom groups find it too difficult, can you imagine your Mother/Sister/Grandpa/(insert appropriate person here) attempting to use it? Or do you think that they would give up after the first day or two, going back to their previous networks/computer bookmarks and write the whole thing off as too much work? They already have a Facebook and a Twitter, do they really need this too if the bookmarking functionality is broken? And even then, this is something where there IS competition. There are other social bookmarking sites that WORK. Not as well as the Old!Delicious, for fandom purposes, but that was more the people using it than the features.

What is this fuckery? Where did my bookmarks go? How can I get the old site back?

There is a place to give feedback for the new site. Let us swamp them with feedback and let them know exactly why and how the new design won't work. Maybe they just don't realize how badly they fucked everything up. It is clearly our duty to tell them. And if nothing else, to vent our rage at the appropriate people.

Also, if your bookmarks have been fucked by the move, let them know. If you forgot to opt in, some of us backed things up. If your bookmarks have been fucked over, your tags gone etc. even though you opted in and you don't have a backup, let me know. When I initially started backing everything up, I didn't know how to check for opt-in so I saved a lot of people's links. I didn't delete them in anticipation of all this crap. I probably have backups. You may be able to get those tags/descriptions/links back. (No tag bundles. Sorry.)

The Future (Yes, I am finally getting to the title)

Now, I see the exodus begun in December steaming ahead. Diigo and Pinboard are going to be getting a lot of new users today. I'm tempted myself, even though there are things about each that I don't like.

I think it is also time to bring up a topic that has been circling in the back of my mind since the great exodus of December. Fandom Delicious. Or, as it is called in my head (and heart), fic.ticio.us. Because it is too good to be true. As much as I love AO3 (and I do, with many hearts), I don't bookmark there. I bookmark fannishly most of the time, but I want to be able to put that reference material I'm saving for a fic I'm writing with my fic bookmarks. I want to have something that has the features fandom wants, but can be used for other things. For me copyright is a fannish issue, but I know that isn't true for everyone. I want to be able to put those bookmarks there, even if they aren't directly tied to fannish meta. I want to read other fans bookmarks on the issue because they have opinions I value, but they also understand my perspective. I want a place where fen can bookmark whatever, but still have things like linked chapters and series, public and private tags (not just bookmarks) etc. I want something for us and by us that we can use in multiple contexts. Or even open up to other users. Just, they aren't the target demographic. We are.

And I am willing to put time into coding something like this. Possibly a lot of time, since I don't do web programming and would have to learn more to be useful at it. The question is, does anyone else care? Would anyone else be willing to help? To use, even? That I don't know, but is one of the things I would like to ask.

Reaction Post Links

As I spent some time going through LJ and DW looking for opinions and if anyone else had found the next page option for tags OMG, I accumulated a bunch of links. I figured I might as well share them.

Oh my god Reaction of deliciouslymad community.
Well, fudge!
Delicious Mentions AO3 bookmark improvements that are coming.
Delicious fail Talks about what is still in progress and should have been completed before release.
Delicious Links to diigo and pinboard. Recommends moving.
Delicious Bookmarks have changed and I hate it. Her title sums up how I feel. I had to link to it.
NOOOOOO and More on the Delicious kerfuffle Someone moving and glad they backed up. I appreciate the rant. I really do.
Delicious fuckery and Diigo again Fandom group created on Diigo to reconnect people.
Delicious v/s Diigo v/s Pinboard As it says.

I have more links, but no time to put them together right now. (Or a spell check. I'm sorry.) So, that will be updated this evening.

Please, if you have comments on the issue, leave them. Also, please link to this post for interested parties.

Edit: 10:30 AM Wed.  So many things to reply to!  I didn't get home until 1AM last night and now I'm at work.  I will reply and put up updates once I get a chance.  That may not be until tonight.  Thanks for all the enthusiasm and for pointing me to the /report.  I just sent a message, so we'll see what is going on. ETA: 7PM Wed. Sorry for the delay. I'm poking at a bunch of things right now. I realized that I don't have time to round up links. Don't worry, things are happening. I will be making updates when there is something concrete. Fannish-delicious or the equivalent WILL happen, one way or another.

Comments

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Thanks for posting links to other reaction posts! I was going to look for some on Delicious, but...
I know exactly what you mean. It is hard to keep track of everything that is going on without it!
Found via Twitter!

I.... am a fairly newbie programmer. But I would be interested in trying to build something like the site you are describing.

(fictitio.us and titio.us are both taken, but I'm sure we could find a name)
I'm sure we can find something that works. Thanks for the offer. I'm waiting for the flail to finish before saying anything concrete, but there are a few groups in contact about doing something about this. Something is going to happen.
I made a small linkspam on DW; shall update with yours and make it all nicely circular :P
Thanks for the link! And the organization. You gave me a few other things to check out.
This is an awesome & detail post. Thank for all the research and information!

"Someone other than us. As it stands right now, the target demographic appears to be someone who doesn't entirely know how the internet and bookmarking work. Or maybe that is the new owners. "

Oh, snap!
Your welcome. Glad to be helpful!

(Anonymous)

Found this post on deliciouslymad and agree with it so much. Thanks for all the links and research. Nice to be able to read all the issues and find others' thoughts.

As for the idea of a Fandom Delicious, I would so use it. Delicious is so screwed up now, and I even read an article that they're trying to branch out to more of the public. (Which still doesn't excuse all these problems) So, I just want to say I'm interested and would use it.
Glad it is useful. Thanks for the feedback on the idea.

Thank you for putting this all together. I'm still trying to figure out what's working & not & trying to plan for when they "fix" things because my tags are a mess, but not so bad as I know others' are.

I had first migrated my bookmarks over to Diigo back in December, but found the service to be very cumbersome & so haven't added too much to it other than when I wanted to save something to cache. They do do the auto-fill on the tags, but it's a pain just to get it to work. ...And their tag situation is horrible over there considering they have not only a tag limitation, but also a character limitation on the tag field -- I'm still fixing my tags over there & it's been over 9 months. Granted, I haven't been over there religiously fixing them, but the point stands that with over 6,000 bookmarks needing their tags fixed either because I lost tags due to their set limitations on the tag field, or because I have "special" characters that are not accepted & so the tags were either skewed or split completely, it's been a bear of a job.

If you do go forward with a Fannish Delicious, I would be more than interested in using it. I'd also offer to help with coding, but my skills are pretty basic & mostly rusty--other than what coding goes into doing LiveJournal entries / comments, which I don't think would be very helpful towards the end product.

OMG your Delicious. I'd be crying nonstop if I were you. You had everything organized so wonderfully. Also, I already miss seeing your updates with just one click >(
Hey, the people over at /report are also considering a fannish Delicious. http://rageprufrock.livejournal.com/379721.html

They're talking about money and coding and stuff, might be worth a look.
Thanks for the link.
if people ever get some team together to make the site, I'm really eager to get on something like that. I've never done web dev (even though I should) but I know how to program.
Thanks for your offer. You will probably get taken up on that :) There are a few things in the works currently so I will keep you posted. Something will be going forward and where there is a will, there is a way. I'm sure we can learn web coding with enough motivation.
Thank you for going through this, so that I didn't have to. Personally, I went in, went "WTF?!? Where are my tag bundles and network?", and left before I killed something. I'm so glad I've been mirroring my stuff to Pinboard and Diigo...
I haven't heard from you in forever! We should talk. I've missed you!

Glad to help with the sum up of fail. I can imagine the dismay because your delicious was so organized. The more I looked at at the new site, the more horrified I was. I miss my network so much already and it has only been *gasp* two days.

on the subject of fic.ticio.us

Well, first off, as someone who bookmarks for fandom purposes only, and knows many others who do the same, I can say that I feel especially ostracized by this new reform.

You've managed to sum up every feeling of discord I have for Delicious right now, but do so with as much eloquence as is necessary to actually sound marginally knowledgeable about the things of which you speak, whereas I like cussing.

Well, that and scathing sarcasm and just being generally belligerent (see: petulant) about the whole thing.

but whatever, it's good bandwagon toons

I feel I'm within my rights as a patron of the site, though. I'm actually in agreement with your roommate. It seems that they've geared themselves in some direction opposite of our unseemly fannish depravity, and fuck me here I am left out in the cold with no way to get my Johnny Storm/Peter Parker tagging on.

Now, actually ON the subject of fic.ticio.us, I am in love with that idea. I think I recall it, or something like it, being kicked around on a comm or two back when we were all concerned that our bookmarking boat was sinking entirely (and wouldn't that have been a kinder iceburg, in retrospect? I feel like I tried to cheat death just to have Grandma bite it instead).

You don't know me from Tom, Dick, or Harry, but I would be *more* than happy to donate time and effort to help get a project like that off the ground. Diigo and Pinboard just don't cut it, and with Delicious bending us over like this I say there's no reason to be complacent with having to settle for less.

I care a lot about my fan communities, and about having havens for fandom in general, and I'm not okay with being all but formally dismissed by websites that decide we aren't their 'target demographic'. Cuz guess what? This is the god damn internet, and there's a lot of us, a lot of us and we're damn loyal when we're treated well. Google 'fanfiction', and then compare the hits to 'porn'. We're not your demographic? We should be.

Not to go all 'we are legion, for we are many' but damn it, I'm pissed. Viva la resistance, baby.

Re: on the subject of fic.ticio.us

Bravo!!! You've articulated my feelings exactly...
Or maybe that is the new owners.

I think that's the point here. They were the founders of YouTube, and apparently, they can only operate sites that work like YouTube. Unfortunately, bookmarking does not work like watching videos. "Playlists for the web"? Seriously? Idiots.

You know what really ticks me off? That there's no reaction from them except "we got a few bugs fixed". It's not the bugs that are the problem (well, okay, a couple of them are), it's that they destroyed everything that made us love Delicious. And I want a reaction from them, dammit. As of now, I have to assume they don't even care about us liking it or not and that pisses me off to no end.
How people could break something that worked so well, I don't understand. Yes, they have no appreciation for how things worked so don't REALLY get why we are so mad.
rageprufrock and mk (@slashreport on twitter) are talking about the same thing. I've already contacted them about qa/learning to program. I'm working on trying to learn ruby (it's free and in theory easy to code), I think that it'd probably be the best option. But i'm interested in working on a fannish option.
I've seen your emails on the group. Nice to meet you. We will make something happen. I have faith in fandom to create things that are awesome.
I'll probably use AO3 for fic bookmarking when the features improve, but I know what you mean: Where am I supposed to put all of those vidding tutorial links? What about fic research? What about meta? I'm happy to give the Pinboard guy ten bucks, but I'd be happier if there were a fannish delicious aimed at us.
Yes, exactly. It looks like something will be going forward. I'm talking to a few people. I can update you as things fall out if you like.
The /report folks were talking about a fandom-focused delicious clone/alternative, and that discussion also happened in December. I don't know if there's a central effort actually going just yet.
There is some talk there. Something is going to happen, don't worry.
I'm not a coder, but I would definitely use a site like that. I have over 2000 bookmarks on delicious (had?) and my brain is crying at the idea of reorganising all of that.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm still too much in shock to cry.
I can't code my way out of a paper bag, but I'd happily stump up a donation for a fic.titio.us service. I suspect most of us would.

*cries*
Yeah! Thanks for the feedback. It is nice to know that the effort wouldn't be wasted.
Just found another quirk in the new Dis.astro.us interface.

When you edit a bookmark, the this is private tickbox is automatically deselected... EVEN IF THE BOOKMARK WAS PRIVATE ALL ALONG.

Which means that, unless you are very very careful to re-select the tickbox before clicking save, your newly edited bookmark and any associated notes will be available for all to read. (Assuming, of course, that anyone can ever find it.)

For those of us who like to keep some of our links private, it's just more bad news.
That is really annoying. Gah, screw you delicious. Why must you make everything hard?
I can't code at all, but I think the interest is here for a fandom-owned Delicious-type service, and many of us would pay for it.

I hope it happens! :)
Don't worry. It is happening.
I wandered over her by following a trail of links, and mostly want to comment on your fic.ticio.us idea. I think it's exactly what Fandom needs and am a little surprised that no-one's cloned Delicious yet. I admit that my coding is fairly limited, but how difficult could it be?

tl:dr, yes. I'd use something like that and know plenty of other people who would.
Thanks for your feedback. There are some clones, but there are features that fandom would use that aren't perfect for them. Something is going forward. There are irons in the fire. If you like, I can update you as things arise. And, why not use a practical project to learn?
I am so pissed off. I can't believe they would do this. Stacks wtf?! And fandom!??? How in the world are we even supposed to slog through random tags? Say I want to search for all the merlin tags that have occurred within the last month...I CAN'T! Dude, thank you for writing this up so quickly. I mean seriously--they should have at least given us a warning. BOO new!del. BOOOOOOO I have so many bookmarks and I'm really, really OCD about organization...Imagine my dismay when I encountered this thing. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

But again, thank you for posting this. I'm glad people in fandom are just as vehement about this issue as I am :D
You are far from alone. No one is happy. I am amazed at how they managed to break something that worked really well.

ME. I want to help with any fannish bookmarking project that happens.

This fic.titio.us you mention is, I think, the project of my heart. I have been wanting something like this for years: fannish bookmarking is... probably my primary hobby.

I spent more time on delicious than any other website, probably, if you don't count the time reading the fic I found there. I think the reason I'm not weeping all over the place is that I'm too shocked. Well, that and my bookmarks are actually still THERE, even if I can't use them and haven't figured out how to get them to export yet (it keeps giving me errors, but I figured it was just overburdened: it worked the last time I made a backup but that was probably hundreds of bookmarks ago).

That said, though, I don't actually know anything about coding, aside from some html/css type stuff. Willing to learn, but I suspect a project like that would need some serious experts.

Re: ME. I want to help with any fannish bookmarking project that happens.

I think a project like this needs people who love bookmarking and are willing to learn. Even if you don't code, there are plenty of other things to do later on down the line. Some irons are in the fire and I can update you when there is more news if you like?
Thank you for putting this all together!
You're welcome. Glad to be useful.
I've put out a call for requirements, for anyone interested in doing a fan-driven version. As a BA/IA, seems to me the best place to start is to find out what, precisely, the fandom wants (and anything del.icio.us didn't do that the fandom might want as well, as long as we're at it).

[Anyone who wants to volunteer can also use the post as gathering spot, for future reference of whomever ends up being the lead organizer/s.]

You can find the post here, and any signal-boosting would be greatly appreciated.

http://kaigou.dreamwidth.org/440101.html

TIA!

I think this is what we need. Thanks for giving me the link.
fic.titio.us is the concept of my heart.</> i have no programming skills whatsoever, and there is probably nothing i could possibly bring to this situation to help, but i would be all over it if there was anything i ever thought i could contribute. (the name is spectacular, btw.)
You know, I think if there were a separate fannish one, that would make my life easier even if they DO fix delicious. I have a fannish account a work account, and I'd love to not have to log out of one to save bookmarks for the other. If they were two separate things, then I'd just have to make sure to use the appropriate bookmarking flag in the browser (presuming "fictitious" has one).
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