It is a sad day to discover that Delicious ( no longer supports my project 🙁

Kind of.

I have recently discovered the failings of searching bookmarks since their relaunch under AVOS Systems in 2011. Findings follow.

The Project

My project, the trendily (hah) named dir.proj, shows a list of websites for Bruneian clubs, associations and communities.

I have been building up the directory with Delicious social bookmarking since 2008. The main purpose of dir.proj was to allow others to find websites based on subjects and categories. I used tags to represent these categories. So, I would personally bookmark each website, and use my own (convoluted) tagging system. The tags were my main reason for using Delicious.

  • Example 1
    • Title: Swift Club Brunei
    • Tags: cars, suzuki, carowners
  • Example 2
    • Title: Brunei Darussalam JuJitsu Federation
    • Tags: jujitsu, jiujitsu, martialarts, sports

Before 2011, if a word appeared in the website title, the main search function would return your bookmark even if the word hadn’t been used as a tag. So, in the second example above, the link would turn up in the search results whether I typed in “brunei jujitsu”, “brunei jiujitsu” or “brunei martialarts”.

Delicious in 2011

Come Delicious’ makeover in 2011. I personally loved the look, it seemed fresh and usable. Ok, some features were missing, and I couldn’t see myself making use of the “stacks” in dir.proj, but I could still bookmark and tag websites, all is fine.

Until I found that the search was not working the way I wanted it to.

Case Study: Badminton & Brunei

General search

I have 3 links under dir.proj that had “badminton” in both the title and as a tag.

Searching for “badminton”:

Search shows me 3 of my links (all related to badminton in Brunei), and some badminton-related results from other Delicious users

Ok, the 3 links show up fine under “My Links”. And since I didn’t specify that I was searching for “brunei”-related badminton links, the search also turns up other non-“brunei” links. That’s expected.

So I searching for “brunei badminton”:

Search shows me 3 of my links, BUT none of them have any relation to badminton (Brunei Authors & Composers, Geng Katakijau). At the bottom, it says there are no Delicious results for "brunei badminton".

Um, what?

Under “My Links”, It shows me 3 links of mine that are NOT related to badminton. They do not have the word “badminton” anywhere in the title or tags. Where are my 3 badminton-related links?

Why are there no other links? Are my own links not visible to the rest of Delicious?

How can others find my bookmarks now?

Tag search

Ok, I decide to give Delicious a chance, and I try searching the tags instead of using the general search.

Tag search for “dir.proj.list” and “badminton”

In my own links, this works:

Global “recent” tags… no results.

Ok, I realize that this is a search for “recent” tags, and my last badminton-related bookmark was in Jan 2010. Fair enough.

Tag search for “dir.proj.list” and “artists”

Recently in Dec 2011, I tagged a new bookmark with “artists”.

In my own links, here we go:

Global “recent” tags… no results.

Ok, that does not make sense, because…

Tag search for “dir.proj.list” and “teachers”

Global “recent” tags… hmm, a bookmark shows up!

You can see that 2 users apart from me have bookmarked this link. And yet, none of these bookmarks were made “recently”. If I click through to the details, the most recent bookmark was made in Aug 2010.



A Google search supports me that the Delicious search is flawed:

The friendship is over.
In all seriousness, I have actually been working to move the bookmarks over to a wiki format instead. So I had been planning to abandon the tags and bookmarks of Delicious anyway.
Still, I had hoped that, in the meantime, the websites would still be searchable on Delicious. I am disappointed that they aren’t. Not impressed, Delicious.