Delicious, a venerable service by web standards, has had a rough time staying relevant for the past few years. Being stuck under Yahoo ownership didn't help.
For a long time, it looked like yet another web 2.0 site that didn't fulfill its promise, like many of the other hot sites of the moment. When Yahoo moved to either shut it down or sell it for scrap, two YouTube founders believed that Delicious has yet to make its mark on the web.
They bought the site from Yahoo
a few months back and have been working on revamping it and turning it into a hub for relevant topical but also real-time information, specifically links.
Links, of course, have been the core of Delicious from the get go. The site was created as a way of saving interesting and useful links that other users could then rely on to either find information or have fun.
The human curation part meant that the links would be more relevant (in more subtle) ways than what algorithms can do, even today. But the site peaked in popularity in 2005, when it was acquired by Yahoo, and fizzled since then.
It never crossed to the mainstream and, while it still has a loyal core user base, it's hardly what you'd call a success.
But Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who cofounded YouTube, believe that the best is yet to come. They've been working on a startup idea for a while now and wanted to do something about content curation, they said in an interview
with the New York Times.
It's hardly a field without competitors, from the likes of Facebook to Reddit, but they believe that none have gotten it just right. But they think that the revamped Delicious will.
The new site will launch sometime this year and it is aimed at being a destination, a place where people know they'll find relevant stuff on whatever topic.
The key seems to be that the content is gathered from all Delicious users, rather than just your Facebook friends for example. What's more, the emphasis is not on sharing the latest link, but on discovering the most relevant ones, based on a ranking system.
Content curation and link sharing is crowded field, yet it still feels like it's in the early days and no one is yet to crack the exact formula. What's more, the web is growing exponentially and content overload is going to become an increasingly nasty problem.