Last July, we took a look at Pinboard, a no-frills bookmarking service that focuses on, you know, bookmarking. Unlike Yahoo’s popular delicious, which is weighed down by feature bloat, Pinboard looks to keep things simple, fast, and elegant. Last week, Pinboard’s creator Maciej Ceglowski posted a recap of the site’s growth over the last six months, giving some honest insight into the progress of a small-but-growing startup.
Perhaps the biggest news is that Pinboard is now Ceglowski’s full-time job. The former Yahoo Brickhouse developer started the site as a side project, but since the rollout of a new premium archiving feature (which runs $25 a year), he can apparently make enough from Pinboard to make a living. He’s also got help from his friend Peter Gadjokov, who also happens to be one of delicious’s founders.
Ceglowski takes some jabs at delicious, which has made quite a few frustrating decisions since its acquisition by Yahoo:
There have been two big surprises in the past six months. The first was discovering that a minimalist paid bookmarking site can effectively compete against delicious, a free service that has all the resources of Yahoo at its disposal, a five year headstart, and until the recent layoffs employed some thirty people. Yahoo management single-handedly created our market with a series of terrible product decisions, and has continued to push the yoke forward and keep the nose pointed straight at the ground. As happy as I am to see Pinboard succeed, I wish it weren’t due to so much squandered effort by people I like and respect on the delicious development team.
Ceglowski writes that Pinboard has grown to 1,200 active users, who have shared nearly 2 million bookmarks. The site has also added a number of features, including a mobile version, an API, integration with Twitter and Instapaper, and more. He notes that there’s “even a version of the site for the five Pinboard users who prefer to browse their bookmarks in Spanish.”
Ceglowski also writes that the site’s innovative signup fee has helped keep spammers at bay, which can be a serious problem with link sharing and bookmarking sites. Since launching last summer, Pinboard has charged new users a small fee that increases by a tenth of a cent with each new user (it’s currently up to $5.79).
If you’re interested in the more technical side of Pinboard, Ceglowski has written details on the site’s technical underpinnings here.