I’ve seen and used del.icio.us, the online social bookmarking tool, for a while now and have never wanted to set up an account. But then, tonight, in the midst of being tired but not sleepy, I thought I’d open an account and lo and behold, I did!
Wow, it was really interesting importing all of my bookmarks/favorites (I have almost 2000 of them) into del.icio.us. Wow, it was so nice to see all of my folders stored so neatly as tags around each of the bookmarks. Wow, it was so cool to see me editing the bookmarks, adding tags, notes and other things to my bookmarks so that I (and my children and my children’s children) could recall websites in perpetuity using del.icio.us. And Wow, it was so great that it all was pretty easy to use and I could even create a little bookmarklet in my browser and I had my own little mini domain name and everything. Wow!
Then I noticed that, Wow, all of my bookmarks are completely exposed to the viewing public. And that, Wow, special sites that I reserved for my use or my client’s use were totally available (or at least visible) to any Tom, Dick and Harry who want to visit them. And that, Wow, everyone can see all of my favorite “Inspiration” sites that I go to for regular design or content aspiration. Wow! I was totally exposed within a few minutes!
After looking up “how do I delete all of my bookmarks from del.icio.us immediately,” I found that it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s quite complicated – one needs to have a script compiled to do it. Then I found out something really cool: Wow, I can shut down my whole del.icio.us account immediately. And I did. Goodbye Yahoo! Inc.. (I mean del.icio.us).
Postscript: I know there is a way to make sure that bookmarks are kept private (or some bookmarks are kept private) but it’s certainly not clear in any of the instructions I saw. Additionally, I know that social bookmarking is supposed to be, well, social. Still, the situation I described above shouldn’t have happened. Rather, what should have happened was this: I import my bookmarks into del.icio.us. The system then immediately asks, “Hi, Andrew. How are you doing? Would you like all of your bookmarks available to the prying eyes of the World Wide Web? We assume you do because you’re into social bookmarking, right? If not, check, well, this box, dummy.” That’s it. How freaking hard would that be to do, I ask.