(I truly hope I’m wrong about this.)
There’s been a lot of vitriol about Yahoo’s decision to deprecate Delicious. We teachers use it to share links with classrooms or schools or online networks full of people. It’s great.
Yahoo has put out a release saying they are “actively looking for a buyer” for Delicious. Here’s why they won’t find what they seek.
Delicious is a huge compilation of links, ordered by value by crowd sourcing. It takes very little financial backing to maintain, because there is no algorithm, no heavy technology. The power is provided by the community. One can go there, search for almost anything, and get very good results on a search, because only the best stuff has been put in there.
On the other hand …
Yahoo’s search depends on a huge infrastructure, constantly tweaking the technology, and monetizing by selling ranking in search results as well as (they hope) start charging subscription fees, the holy grail for online endeavors. (I mean, if netflix can get $6.90 a month, why can’t google/yahoo search?)
Here’s the thing. If Yahoo sells Delicious, they will create a competitor that will hamper their ability to grow their core business. Will Delicious under new management out-pace Google and Yahoo search? Probably not. But if Delicious survives under new management, it will be a competent alternative to a pay-for-search service which is the goal of Yahoo and Google search.
So the requirements for a buyer for Delicious would be:
1) Someone who has millions of dollars to spend
2) Someone with a business model that will never compete with Google and Yahoo search
3) Someone who will turn off the ability to search through all Delicious bookmarks
The catch is, if the new buyers of Delicious turn off the ability to search through all Delicious bookmarks, the potential revenue for the new buyer to charge for advertisements is diminished. Getting a return on their investment on a multimillion dollar purchase will be all but impossible.
I certainly hope I’m wrong.