Yahoo Bookmarks + del.icio.us = confusion
Yahoo has upgraded its bookmarking service - and it's not del.icio.us, the Web 2.0 poster child that the Internet portal swallowed last year. Yahoo Bookmarks, a venerable old feature of the Yahoo toolbar, got the makeover instead. Who says Google is the only Internet giant to embrace chaos and let 1,000 flowers bloom?
The good news for Yahoo is that the early reviews are positive. LifeHacker pronounces itself "very pleased" with the new tool, while the Search Engine Journal says Bookmarks goes beyond most bookmarking tools, integrating seamlessly with Yahoo web search and allowing users to save thumbnail images.
But Yahoo's attempt to cleanly delineate the two products would seem a bit disingenuous. "The all new Yahoo! Bookmarks will focus on personal saving, organization, and recovery while our comrades at del.icio.us will concentrate on meeting your social bookmarking and sharing needs," writes the Yahoo Search Blog. That may sound good, but it's not entirely clear that users will get the point. Or even other Yahoo execs. The Browser recalls del.icio.us founder Josh Schachter noting recently that the power of his service is that it relies on users' self-interest, i.e. their desire to manage their own bookmarks. Ah, well.
Meanwhile, the integration of visual bookmarking by an Internet biggie isn't great news for a cabal of upstart visual bookmarking services led by pioneer Wists. Yahoo's move is likely to push them even further into "social shopping," and away from general utility bookmarking.
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