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Delicious dilemma: Who will buy Yahoo's faded Web 2.0 star?

Social bookmarking site Delicious, once one of the shining examples of the Web 2.0 renaissance, will not be shutting down. But it will be looking for a new host after Yahoo, its owner since 2005, determined that it was not a strategic fit, according to a blog post by the company.

Reports surfaced that Yahoo was going to “sunset” the service — a software geek’s way of saying that it would shutter the site — yesterday after a number of leaked slides from an internal Yahoo presentation hit the Internet. The slide was posted on Twitter by Eric Marcoullier, who cofounded blog social network MyBlogLog, another service listed in the “sunset” column. The slide says that Yahoo Picks, AltaVista, Yahoo Buzz, and other services are also targeted for shutdown.

Delicious, which Yahoo acquired in 2005, provided users with a way to share Web bookmarks and discover new, interesting websites. At the time of the acquisition, it seemed like a great fit, since that’s how Yahoo got its start — as a directory of interesting websites. But the decision to “sunset” the site didn’t come as a huge surprise, since traffic to the site seems to be slipping. It also comes at a time when Yahoo is trying to reinvent itself and become “cool” again, while focusing on areas where it can win over consumers.

Delicious users shouldn’t be afraid that the service will abruptly end and they will lose all their data — it will remain live. Any trigger-happy users afraid the service will shut down also have a number of ways to send the data out to other services.

The company is talking to a number of interested companies to find a new home, according to the post. If that weren’t enough of an indicator of how many people want the service to stay alive, some even commented on the post that they would be willing to invest in the company to keep it running. One candidate includes angel investor and Mahalo.com founder Jason Calacanis — he said he would be willing to buy the service and spend between $750,000 and $1 million to maintain it yearly.

Few of the Web 2.0 braintrust Yahoo assembled in the middle part of the past decade remain with the company. Delicious founder Joshua Schachter had long moved on from Yahoo, going to Google for a stint and then founding a stealthy social startup. Marcoullier has moved on too, cofounding OneTrueFan, a service that connects publishers with their most loyal fans.

Yahoo’s photo-sharing site, Flickr, another Web 2.0 star, is still running and isn’t targeted for closure. But cofounders Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield also moved on to found new startups.

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  1. [...] Thompson came onboard, Yahoo was already “sunsetting” its less popular services, letting go of distracting foreign assets for much-needed cash and [...]

  2. [...] Thompson came onboard, Yahoo was already “sunsetting” its less popular services, letting go of distracting foreign assets for much-needed cash and [...]