Delicious has been in the news lately because of Yahoo's controversial plan to "sunset" it, followed by the sale of the company to YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Delicious used to face a lot of social bookmarking competition, though. One of the most-hyped competitors, a Seattle company called BlueDot, which later changed its name to Faves.com, quietly announced this afternoon that it will close up shop in a matter of days and put its assets up for sale.Social bookmarking service
How hyped was this service? It had backing from former Starbucks Senior VP Don Valencia, former Microsoft Senior VP Richard Fade and Mark Zbikowski, creator of the DOS executable file format (.EXE). Michael Arrington chose it over Delicious as a Web service he couldn't live without and Mashable called it the only other Delicious-type service worth writing a positive review of. I reviewed it in great detail five years ago at TechCrunch. For all that enthusiasm, though, smart features and good design couldn't make BlueDot take off with users.
CEO Mike Koss wrote in a blog post today, "Unfortunately, we were not able to sustain the costs of operating Faves.com [the company's latest name] from our current revenue sources...We will be selling the remaining assets of the company shortly." In the kind of good faith move that had to be made, the service provided an easy way for users to export their bookmark data.
Two years ago Koss blogged that the company had laid off all employees beyond himself and a part time operations person, but had raised enough money to keep trying for 2+ more years. Two years and one month have now passed.
"As we evolve the Faves.com service, we are looking to be more relevant to users who are increasingly adopting Facebook or Twitter as the primary means of communicating with their friends, family, and co-workers," Koss wrote then. "We are also finding that a large proportion of users of our site are not authentic 'bookmarkers', but rather are creating links to other web sites for marketing, or spam."
It's really a shame that social bookmarking hasn't worked out better than it has - the field has such incredible potential for research - but I have to confess that I rarely bookmark things myself anywhere these days, either.