Delicious – Features Update

Our team here at Delicious has been working hard on a number of exciting developments that we can’t wait to share with the community! We’ll have more to say soon about what’s to come, but for now, here are a few updates we wanted to let you know about:

Introducing the Delicious-Facebook Connector

We know finding links you’ve shared on Facebook can be a pain, which is why we’re thrilled to announce the introduction of our new Facebook Connector for Delicious! Much like the Twitter Connector we rolled out in March, our new connector imports every link you’ve ever shared on your wall, and can even maintain the original privacy settings given to your links on Facebook!

The Facebook Connector can be found on the sources page of your account settings. We can’t wait for you guys to try it out!

Consolidating tags and stacks

We introduced stacks last year as a visually rich way to think about your links and we’ve been blown away by the amazing content you’ve created. But given the upcoming launch of new products from Delicious’ parent company, AVOS, and our focus on simplifying the Delicious site, we realized the value of stacks is limited for our users moving forward.

For this reason, we’ve decided to simplify how users organize links on Delicious by consolidating stacks into tags. Users will no longer be able to create stacks on Delicious starting in early August, 2012.

So what does this mean for existing stacks?

  • You will not lose your links.
  • All stacks will be converted automatically into tags. Stack titles will transition into new tag names, and will be applied to all links currently in a stack.
  • Stack-specific descriptions, categories, comments, link order, and stack followers will not be included as part of the migration.
  • Your existing links, tags, and notes outside of stacks will not be affected.
  • More details on the conversion process are available here.

These changes are a direct result of feedback from our community.  We welcome all input – good or bad – so please continue sharing your thoughts, comments, or questions with us at feedback@delicious.com!

We’ll have more to say soon here on our blog about the exciting developments we’ve been working on – so stay tuned!

An update to those users seeing spam in their saved links

Over the last few days, some users have reported that spam links have appeared amongst their saved links. We wanted to post a quick update with more information regarding this issue, and what we’re doing to get to the bottom of things. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. We believe the spam is posting to accounts through an HTTP API endpoint, as well as through d.me, and seems to have impacted several thousand users by posting

    unsolicited links into their Delicious account.

  2. We have disabled some legacy API functionality, and are digging deeper into the root causes in order to enable some longer term solutions. Future versions of the Delicious API will be based on OAuth 2.0 and not legacy authentication methods – we will notify developers as newer API endpoints are available.
  3. We have temporarily disabled posting to Delicious accounts via email with d.me to close a spam opening.
  4. Users who are seeing random spam amongst their saved links should delete those links. If the problem re-occurs or if there are more than a few please send a few sample URLs along with your username to feedback@delicious.com so we can investigate further.

Apologies to those users who have been impacted; we will post again when we have more details to share.

Tweet a Link, Save a Link

Here at Delicious, we’re actively embracing the idea that the act of “bookmarking” has evolved beyond simply saving links.  By introducing stacks, we took the first step to transition content sharing on Delicious from a simple URL stream into sleek collections of your passions that include your own voice.

These days, great content is shared through a whole smorgasbord of social activities like retweeting and liking.  When you discover an interesting article or video and want to share

it with others, you’re most likely turning to a social media site like Twitter.  The need to share links quickly with tweeps while also capturing them for inclusion in a stack led us to our latest feature.

The new Twitter Connector on Delicious gives you the option of tethering your accounts together, so any link you tweet, retweet or favorite on Twitter is also saved to Delicious.  (Note to web speed junkies: sometimes the link-saving process can take a few minutes or more depending on system demands, so be patient!)

Here are some features and benefits of the Twitter Connector:

  • Every link you’ve shared via Twitter in the past (up to the last 3,200) will be imported into your Delicious account. (Delicious will ignore any duplicates)
  • You can choose a link-saving protocol for future tweets, including a) saving each link from Twitter going forward; b) saving just the links in tweets hashtagged with #d; c) saving every link except those hashtagged with #d.
  • You get to assign your own Delicious tag to every link coming from Twitter, and any hashtag included in your tweets (aside from #d) will be converted to unique tags on Delicious.
  • Multiple Twitter accounts can be set up, each with their own discreet settings and preferences.

Sharp-minded Delicious followers might recognize this as the same popular feature offered by Trunk.ly, which we acquired last November.

This is just our first step in integrating Delicious with your current web habits.  We will soon offer features like automatically tweeting your activities and adding more social networks to further streamline link-saving and sharing with your friends.

Oh!  We should mention that the Twitter Connector will be gradually rolled out over the next week. To check whether it’s available to you, visit your account settings page. If you see a “Sources” tab, you’re golden.

Stacks go social

Stacks are a great way to organize and present the content you’re passionate about and add your voice on why it matters.  Now we’re letting others join the fun – stacks just got social.

With the latest Delicious update, you can now:

  • Collaborate on stacks
  • Comment on stacks and suggest new links for stacks.
  • Build stack responses
  • Create private stacks for yourself or a group

To learn more about each, please read on.

Collaborate on stacks

If you build stacks to share with a group, why not invite them to join the fun? Invite others to edit and add links to your stack for a joint compilation of the content you want to share with the world.


Comment and suggest on stacks

Found a stack about the most Atrocious Sweaters? You can now join in the conversation, commenting on individual links or the stack as a whole.

It’s also possible to suggest new links to help the stack creator improve their stack. Stack creators can choose to accept or reject suggestions to quickly and easily include them in their stack.

Stack responses

Why stop at commenting on a stack on when you can create a response? Stack responses allow you create a new stack of links that’s tied to the original.  It lets you add your own voice and show your support, add a different point of view or just plain disagree with the original stack creator.  So go ahead and create a response to educate the community on how Sweaters can be Stylish.

Stacks created as a response also include a reference to the original stack.

Private stacks

You might not always want the full community to see what you’re sharing, which is why we have enabled Private Stacks. You no longer have to publish a stack, instead invite only the people you want to collaborate with and keep it to yourselves. Share links around a project at work, research a new kitchen or share favorite engagement rings with your yet-to-be-announced fiancee.

 

Delicious has always been a social platform, and these new stack features make social an even bigger part of what we’re about, allowing communities to collect and display their passions from across the web.

 

Update on the browser extensions

In the past one of the ways of working with Delicious has been the browser extensions. For users of those extensions, it’s been frustrating that some of the features are not working.  There’s also inconsistency between the features in different browser extensions.  We want to clarify our position on the extensions and where we are going from here.

The original developers of the extensions did not anticipate Delicious users with thousands of bookmarks. As users noticed before the AVOS acquisition of Delicious, the extensions can at times transfer so much data that they cause problems with internet connections and browser stability. Rewriting the extensions to avoid these problems will take time and resources.

The challenge this creates is that our focus is on innovating and moving Delicious forward. We are rebuilding it into a site that once more attracts millions of people to enjoy the best content the web has to offer.  How the Delicious site works and operates is changing. It will continue to grow and change more quickly and this is where we are directing our efforts.

We recently reviewed the status of the extensions. Rather than keep people “hanging on” in the hope that we will work on them soon, we want to be up front about the following decisions we have reached:

  1. We’re putting the extensions on ice.  We will remove some broken options to avoid having non-functioning features deployed. This point is most relevant to the Firefox extension which always had more features than the others. Beyond this we have no current plans to continue developing them.
  2. We will promote the bookmarklet as the best way to interact with the site.  For the next few months this is where users will experience and see the changes we are bringing to Delicious.

If you already use a browser extension and are happy with it, then this has no impact on you.  If you want to experience the best that Delicious has to offer with the new features and changes we are launching, then we recommend that you use the bookmarklet.

We do believe extensions still have a place, but at the moment our priority is to focus resources on the experience at the front end of the site.  We’ll review the role extensions play with Delicious in several months time once the front end experience has further matured.

EDIT: Updated the link to reflect the new tools page location.

Chrome Browser issue that prevents bookmarking some sites with the bookmarklet

A small number of people have noticed problems when bookmarking sites like YouTube in the Chrome Browser with the Delicious Bookmarklet.  We’ve received confirmation that this issue is a problem with the latest release of Chrome when certain Chrome Applications are installed and also affects many other sites that have a JavaScript based bookmarklet.

When a Chrome Application like the Chrome YouTube Application is installed, it intercepts its URLs before the bookmarklet can see them causing the bookmarklet to fail.

The only work around we know at the moment is to delete the relevant Chrome Application (for example if you can’t bookmark YouTube links, make sure the YouTube Chrome App is removed).

This remains as an open bug with the Google Chrome development team, we’ll be sure to let you know if there is any change.

New email notifications and more dynamic stacks

New email updates

While Delicious has feeds for most of the content that people add, not everyone likes to use a Feed Reader.  Email can be more convenient for some notifications.

To provide you with choice in how you receive information, we’ve now added optional email notifications for some key events.  For example, now when you follow a stack, you can be automatically emailed whenever the stack owner adds a new link.

You have full control over these emails and can turn notifications on and off on the settings page.

Farewell “kitten man”

A persistent stack image on the home page over the last two weeks has been one we affectionately refer to internally as “Kitten Man”.

We’ve improved the way we select stacks to make it more dynamic which means there are now newer, fresher stacks for you to discover on a more frequent basis. Sadly “Kitten Man” no longer holds top billing, however if you can’t get enough you’ll find his stack here.

Finally, Happy Holidays!

From all here at Delicious, we wish you safe holidays and a Happy New Year.  Here’s to a New Year full of cialis online without prescription Delicious treats!

- Lucy Bain, Programmer

Performance release and brief downtime between 8PM – 10PM PST tonight

We’ve just pushed a new release which will resolve most of the performance issues we’ve been experiencing over the last couple of weeks.

To complete this update, we will be rebooting the database servers between 8 pm and 10 pm PST on Thursday, December 22nd  (4 am-6 am GMT on Dec. 23rd).  This will cause the site to be slow and potentially unresponsive for short periods while caches rebuild.

All of the servers have been upgraded and an additional caching layer (to serve content more quickly from memory, rather than having to look for it on disk) has now been implemented.

 We’ve also expanded the existing caches with more machines.

Along with the performance changes, we’ve also included several small fixes, including tightening up the white space on the link lists further, selected text is once again added to the description when using the bookmarklet and other minor changes.

Minor enhancements and performance issues

We promised last week that upgrades will start to happen more frequently as we move onto the front foot with making Delicious the best place to discover and collect the web.

Site performance issues

As we’ve been introducing more features and Delicious starts growing again, underlying performance is increasingly becoming an issue.  We are currently working through caching issues in order to handle the high volume of RSS and API requests we receive daily.

We’ve made some changes which are helping, but there is still more to do.

We are also expanding our team to dedicate more operational resources on a 24×7 basis to ensure the site always performs at its best.  If you, or someone you know are interested, please refer to our jobs page.

Easier to browse and share stacks

Stacks are now even easier to browse, with Next and Previous buttons that hover as you scroll down the page allowing you to scan through stacks inside a category.  In addition to sharing via email, you can now share stacks directly to Twitter and Facebook.

In Summary

We’re not standing still, we continue to actively listen to and consider user feedback.  This latest release also includes many small visual and consistency tweaks in response to feedback, a fix to the Firefox Bookmarklet to get better consistency of tags and lots of other small improvements.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working on building ways of enabling you to work together on stacks, streamline

the stack experience, integrating more of the functionality from Trunk.ly and continuing to improve and refine the overall experience on delicious.com. We’re also aware of an issue where YouTube Video pages can’t be saved in Chrome using the bookmarklet at the moment and we’re looking into it.

- Vijay Karunamurthy, Chief Engineer

New Look on Delicious

We’ve received a lot of helpful suggestions from the Delicious community, and if you mosey on over to Delicious.com, you’ll see we’ve been listening.

Updating the Design

We’ve begun a comprehensive overhaul of how the Delicious UI deals with information density and hierarchy, while applying a clean, consistent style. Giving Delicious an interface flexible enough to add new features moving forward was a strong consideration. It required us to take into account overarching themes like how content types get presented (stacks, links, actions, and so on) to minute details like a consistent button style.

Here’s an example of the old link-saving page compared with the new one:

Enhancing Discovery through Stacks

At the top of our priority list was exploring new stack layouts, to help visitors discover content. There were a number of considerations that went into formulating the new stack design, with the end goal of making the content more compelling including:

  • More prominent comments from the stack creator to add a greater level of personalization
  • A more informative presentation with better content previews, to give a clearer sense of what’s behind each click
  • Better media display that showcases quality images and compelling video

 

We also wanted to make it easier for you to find stacks centered on your interests, so we’re now categorizing them into areas such as Comedy, Food, Music or Sports. These categories will be revised and expanded over time.

 

We’re going to continue looking for better ways to present stacks, and would love to hear your thoughts on this latest push. Drop us a line with your feedback.

Delicious has been a work in progress since the beta re-launch, with our attention primarily on completing the migration from Yahoo!. We’re focused now on innovating Delicious to empower web discovery, and actively building the team and dedicating the resources to make it happen. New features and site updates will start rolling out more rapidly, so keep watching this space.

- J.T. Trollman, Lead Designer & Alex Dong, Senior Software Engineer