Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lessons Learned in the Demise of Delicious

As the 'unofficial' news broke on Twitter and subsequently TechCrunch, social learners today discovered that Delicious might be going dark. Whether or not the story becomes mirrored in reality, there are a few lessons educators can take from the news.

Lesson #1 The Education Community is Resilient
Alec Couros has inspired the creation of Alternatives to Delicious, a Google Document that has been edited by at least 40 collaborators.

It will be a challenge to recreate the link-sharing network I've grown to love at Delicious, but whether it happens tomorrow; next year; or five years from now; there will one day be a need to relocate my links. In this case, it's a straightforward process to migrate bookmarks to Diigo, or another service.

Lesson #2 Free is Not Forever

We learned last spring, when Ning began to charge for what was formerly a free social network service, that it takes money, and real people to provide the services we often take for granted. In the case of Delicious, it now appears that the parent company, Yahoo, will be cutting the virtual service, in order to deal with financial realities.

Lesson #3 You Need a Backup Plan
It may not seem important when your digital life is firing on all cylinders, but users of cloud services (especially free services) should think about what they'll do if the unthinkable happens. Flickr is also managed by Yahoo; might it be jettisoned next? Could Twitter or Facebook one day be seen as financially unviable? Might Google decide one day, that Gmail or Google Docs makes more sense as a monthly subscription service?

Whatever you do in response to the possible demise of Delicious, it's always a good time to think about what you're doing to protect your ideas; your data; and your memories.
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