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Back To Basics: Ditch Delicious, Use Pinboard

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The Europas Shortlist: Best New Startup, Summer 2008-2009

I’ve been a long time Delicious user for bookmarks, going back to way before the acquisition of the company by Yahoo in late 2005 (one of our early scoops). But over the years I’ve used it less and less. It’s slow, sometimes offline. A couple of weeks ago it wouldn’t let me log in, saying my password was incorrect. I was sure it was right, but I requested a password reset anyway. The email never came.

The service has languished, and has the feel of a product that’s on life support. There doesn’t seem to be a passionate group of developers loving and caring for the product and making it better over time. Or at least not worse. Traffic is stagnating or dropping, depending on which analytics service you look at. Founder Joshua Schachter left long ago in frustration, and is now at Google.

All Delicious really needs to do is let me bookmark sites without a lot of distraction. It hasn’t been good at that for a long, long while.

Something about a new service called Pinboard is really captivating to me. It’s not even a startup – it’s a side project by a developer, Maciej Ceglowski. Ceglowski is a former Yahoo Brickhouse engineer and has also designed and built an internal data warehouse for Twitter as an independent contractor.

The service, which is in private beta, doesn’t have many bells and whistles. Which is exactly what I want. Bookmarklets let me set bookmarks via a popup or redirect, with fields for tags and description and a privacy toggle. You can also bookmark a page “to read” which populates a separate list. It’s not for permanent bookmarks, just a reminder to read something later.

No graphics. no design. just easy, easy bookmarking and tagging. I love it. It reminds me of Delicious back in 2005, when I loved that site, too.

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