After some 6 years of using Delicious to store my bookmarks, I've finally admitted that the service is effectively dead, and have now moved to use Pocket instead. I’ve updated my Links page accordingly, and I have also deleted the old bookmarks RSS feed on FeedBurner (another service in terminal decline).
The final straw for me with Delicious was finding that the export option was no longer available, and the developer API was gone. This meant that I had no way to export and back-up my some 5000 bookmarked links. Luckily, I had an export of my Delicious bookmarks from last year. I went through my most recent Delicious bookmarks and manually transferred the most useful to my Pocket reading list.
I’ve been using Pocket for over 8 years, back when it was know as Read It Later and it was a simple reading list add-on for Firefox. Since then it has developed considerably. I’m particularly fond of the excellent iOS app, something I use daily. The premium subscription is a bit steep ($45/£37 per annum), but given I’ve been using their service for so long for nothing, it seems only right to pony up for it. I did consider combing Pocket with PinBoard (and this may happen at a later date), but Pocket alone is sufficient for the moment. I’m not interested in saving 1000s of links that I’ll never look at again, as I did with Delicious.
Again, I’m struck how important it is that you keep control of your data, even something as minor as a list of bookmarks. This is something I touched on earlier last year when I wrote about the shutdown of the Shelfari service. Often, you will lose this control when using a free/freemium service, as the service provider gradually attempts to lock users in.
As a result of thinking about this, I plan to move to use either paid services that give me more control of my data, or to use self-hosted open source applications. I’ll be writing more on this soon. If you have any thoughts on this, I would love to hear from you.