Some Social Bookmarking Alternatives to Delicious
Credit: Darren Hester/MorgueFile
Credit: Darren Hester/MorgueFile

When news spread on Thursday (Dec. 16) that Yahoo would be shutting down its popular social bookmarking service Delicious, the Internet went up in arms.

Delicious – which launched in 2003 as "del.icio.us" and was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 – allows users to tag, save and manage their bookmarks online and to share and discover booksmarks with other users. The news left its members scrambling to find an alternative service.

But then in a plot twist today, Delicious said via a blog post that it is, in fact, not closing and is actually just up for sale.

"No, we are not shutting down Delicious," the message said. "While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive."

Even though the site is reassuring its users that it's not going anywhere, here are some other social bookmarking platforms to consider in case you are still worried about its fate.

How to Export

Before exploring what other platforms are out there to meet bookmarking needs, here’s how to export bookmarks from Delicious onto a computer.

There's an easy way to move bookmarks from Delicious elsewhere, whether you want to ultimately transfer them to another bookmark service or use them directly on your browser.

First, log on to your Delicious account and access the "Settings" button on the top right-hand side of the screen. Under the “Bookmarks” tab, then choose "Export/Backup Bookmarks."

The screen will then prompt you to save a copy of your bookmarks with either your tags or notes (or both). After clicking export, Delicious will convert it into an html file and then save it to your computer.

Pinboard

Pinboard is one of the most similar bookmarking services out there to Delicious, allowing users to import bookmarks from other platforms, search for tags and even archive tweets from Twitter. It also has a private tag and Read It Later feature. However, Pinboard charges a sign-up fee for its service and the price rises as more members join: it was only $7.50 yesterday and is now up to $8.28. For a $25 annual fee, Pinboard gives users the opportunity to archive full webpages so even defunct links are searchable.

Many believe its site, www.pinboard.in, will be receiving most of Delicious' membership. In fact, the site already has a note up on the homepage that its currently experiencing heavy traffic, so some background services (import, archiving) are running slowly.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is indeed different than Delicious, but many suspect Delicious users can find a comfy new home here. Founded in 2001, StumbleUpon learns what you like, so you only see what's interesting to you from across the web. Its 12.8 million users are already discovering photos, videos, and web pages recommended by friends and people who share their interests. Rating sites that are recommended with thumbs up or down are automatically shared with like-minded people.

Xmarks

Xmarks seamlessly integrates with your web browser – from Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari (Mac OS) -- and keeps your bookmarks safely backed up and in sync. Xmarks highlights the top sites in your search results based on how other users have bookmarked and rated them. For $12 a year, members can automatically track and backup any change made to your bookmarks, and view restore, or export past bookmark collections. Members can also synchronize their open browser tabs across all your computers and mobile devices, and gain access to quick support via email.

Diigo

Diigo goes beyond the scope of bookmarking and offers features from browser extensions to letting you save notes for offline reading. Diigo provides a browser add-on that can really improve research productivity. Instead of just bookmarking, you can multi-color highlight portions of web pages that are of particular interest. Members can also attach sticky notes to specific parts of webpages. Highlighted paragraphs, sticky notes and the original url can all be saved on Diigo servers to create a personal digest of the web. It can also be easily searched, accessed, sorted and shared from any PC or even iPhone.

Google Bookmarks

This free storage site available for Google account members also gives members an easy way to bookmark sites, take notes, and add labels and tags. This can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. Like Delicious, Google Bookmarks uses lists to share bookmarks privately with friends or with the public. It also lets you organize stuff into categories, and it’s simple to add things to it even if you don’t know the URL.