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Months in the making, Yahoo’s bookmarking site Delicious finally rolled out its 2.0 version today.

First, the good:

The confusing del.icio.us web domain has been replaced with delicious.com. While I kind of liked the quirkiness of the old name, it was hard to type into an address bar, and no doubt plenty of people had trouble remembering it. Delicious even acknowledges that on its blog:

So why did we switch to delicious.com? We’ve seen a zillion different confusions and misspellings of “del.icio.us” over the years (for example, “de.licio.us”, “del.icio.us.com”, and “del.licio.us”), so moving to delicious.com will make it easier for people to find the site and share it with their friends.

The other notable difference is the site’s design. The slightly more muted blues look nicer and the menu bar makes a lot more sense. As you can see in the video below, several of the more subtle elements have been shifted to the left, making the site more logical to follow.

The new site also places an emphasis on speed. Claiming the old interface was getting “creaky” under the strain of five million users, the new version should make pages load faster. In my initial usage of the new site, this seems to be the case.

Now the bad:

First and foremost, what on Earth took Delicious and Yahoo so long to get this update out? It would seem that the site we are seeing today is almost the exact same one that was previewed on TechCrunch nearly a year ago. Certainly there could have been some backend changes that were holding up the process, but eleven months?

The service’s gestation period lasted even long than its founder, Joshua Schacter, did at Yahoo, as Mike Arrington notes on TechCrunch today.

Blogger John Furrier thinks Yahoo has to make Delicious a “mainstream easy to use service and integrate it into their core traffic stream,” in order for it to be successful. While the redesign looks nice to me, it seems like it may be very confusing for mainstream users. It’s still very cluttered with information — especially when compared to some of the newer, faster bookmarking services like Instapaper and LaterLoop.

In terms of core traffic stream, Yahoo was testing out integrating Delicious results with its search results — and I think that was actually smart. But that test appears to have ended without going to the next level.

Delicious 2.0 is an improvement for sure, but the fact that it took so long to update to what amounts to a new design with speed and search improvements makes me worry even more about the future of Yahoo. The internet is a fast-paced environment. There are plenty of services I was using a year ago that I barely remember now. Delicious was almost one of them.


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