Delicious’ tasteful reaction to negative feedback

I recently wrote a post about the changes that the social bookmarking site, Delicious, had made.

Since then I read other reports that the Delicious team have been working around the clock to fix things. There has been a lot of activity on their Facebook page as die-hard fans have been voicing their opinion over the changes.

I visited the site. There are a lot (and I mean “a lot”) of very unhappy people. The comments are almost 100% scathing of the changes that Delicious had made. I tried to read through all of the comments, but they just kept going, and going.

It seems that, in the hours after the “change”. a lot of functionality had been lost. This combined with the fact that no-one knew the changes were coming (Chad Hurley and Steve Chen hadn’t made any announcement), was what people were livid about.

I’m not certain, but it almost seems that the Delicious team were surprised at how many people were affected by this. Here’s a quote from a post  “All Things D” published on the 26th September:

Expectations aren’t terrifically high for the new Delicious, given the rareness of tech comeback stories and the fact that Delicious was never really that popular.

(Looking at the comments on that post, you can already see a hint of the fury that was coming).

One thing that did strike me was the reaction from the Delicious people (“delishites”). It was quite responsive. They seemed to swing into action, and, when there was a valid complaint, they responded. They also set up a blog  where they posted regular updates of their activities.

I was impressed. This seemed to be a company that was reacting to their users. And their users seem to be responding positively to this. There seem to be a change in the mood…


Looking at Delicious’ Facebook page lately it seems that the positive “vibes” was short-lived. It seemed that, as more people discovered the “disaster” of changes that were made, that they have gravitated to the Delicious’ Facebook page to spray their fury on Delicious’ wall.

In any case…

In any case, it seems that Delicious are working hard to “fix” their product. In fact, when I logged in today I noticed that the new Delicious was starting to look more, and more like the old Delicious.

I’m curious how this will continue…

Note: here is one of the latest post on the “All Things D” post regarding the Delicious Redesign.

Delicious? The new flavo(u)r is an aquired taste.

The social bookmarking site Delicious has just had a make-over.

And I’m still getting used to it.


The last time Delicious had a make over was back in 2008 (when it went from being to being Delicious. Click on this link to see a video that was released at the time to “show” the differences. This post by Demetrius gives a side-by-side comparison.

Not everyone liked the new design. Nathan Bowers posted a long listed of “issues” he saw with the 2008 redesign (along with a marked-up screen shot). See his interesting post here. A lot of the criticisms he made, had to do with white space.


Fast forward to present day & Delicious has been bought by AVOS (former founders of YouTube, and after several months, the social bookmarking site has a new face & is back in beta.

What this effectively means is that the changes to Delicious ain’t over yet. In fact, it seems that Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are open to suggestions about the site. In fact, in a Delicious blog post they use a Marty McFly (Back to the Future) quote to describe how they felt:

“What if they say I’m no good? What if they say, ‘Get outta here, kid, you got no future?’ “

And what are the changes?

They have introduce “stacks“. These are groups of related bookmarks links, that users can create and make available for other users. Stacks are demonstrated in a You Tube video that was posted at the same time,

The whole site has been redesigned. There is also a lot of white space – the links are now further apart from each other. And…they have stripped out a lot of other features.

Click here to see the “what’s new” list

And the public reaction?

Well – if you read the comments under the on the You Tube site, you’ll notice that there are a lot of unhappy people, who do not like the new design. (You’ll also notice that, in comparison to the number of views, there really are not a lot of comments).

I’m sure these comments are valid. For many, many years, Delicious has been more of a “personal on-line list of bookmarks links which users have been able to tag”. It wasn’t particularly “fluffy” (in a Web2.0 way), but it was functional.

Actually the best analogy I could make is that it was like WordPerfect 5.1 (a DOS based word processor that used to rule!). Not easy to use straight away, but once you got use to it, it was a great tool!. WordPerfect lost ground to MS Word which was GUI based (therefore prettier) and easier to use.

And Delicious was like this. Not the most elegant of social bookmarking tools (like a standard mobile phone in a Smart Phone  world), but for the hard-core users, it was exactly what you needed.

Now Churley & Chen have added some of the Web 2.0 fluffiness, Delicious is a different tool. Not everyone is going to like it.

Do I like it?


For many, many years I also used Delicious for capturing useful links for future reference. Then I discovered Diigo, which is now my favourite tool for capturing my favourites.

But…the one thing I really did like about Delicious was it’s “Recent” bookmarks page. This listed all the links that people around the world were saving. It gave me an interesting insight into what was interesting people, and I would often make a game of trying to look for patterns.

But that wasn’t the main reason I would view the “Recent” page. I was always looking for interesting links that I could share with others in the twittersphere. By frequently refreshing the “Recent” list I was getting some good stuff. (You could also say I was using “crowdsourcing” to tell me what I should be reading). And this is something that I can’t do easily with Diigo.

The new Delicious still has a “Recent” page, but it is now split into two tabs. One shows all the new “Stacks” that people have created, and the other shows the list of recent links.  It’s bad enough that every time I do a page refresh the “Recent Stacks” tab is displayed, but when I do click on the recent links tab, there is now so much white space (and tags, and descriptions) that I only see the top two “recent” links. I have to scroll down the page to see anything else.

I know that his is not a big deal, but it does mean that Delicious is no different than other of the other social bookmarking sites. And, therefore, there is no real reason for me to type “” into my browser address bar any more.

But wait, there is hope…

As I mentioned above, Delicious is beta once again. So, maybe I can suggest a few tweaks.

Let the user decide:

  • which tabs they want to see by default
  • the amount of detail they want to see (links only; link + tags; link + tags + description; etc)

Steve, Chad… are you listening?…

Note – On the AVOS blog site, there is a request for feedback with only an option to send an e-mail. Seems a strange (and old fashioned) way to ask for feedback (especially in a Web 2.0 world), but I guess they didn’t want lists and lists of flaming criticisms (such as on the You Tube site).