The decline of Delicious and the rise of Pinboard

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

This is a great story about the crisis when thousands of people moved to Pinboard, when Yahoo announced they were closing Delicious.

We charged money for a good or service

I know this one is controversial, but there are enormous benefits and you can immediately reinvest a whole bunch of it in your project *sips daiquiri*. Your customers will appreciate that you have a long-term plan that doesn’t involve repackaging them as a product.

If Pinboard were not a paid service, we could not have stayed up on December 16, and I would have been forced to either seek outside funding or close signups. Instead, I was immediately able to hire contractors, add hardware, and put money in the bank against further development.

I don’t claim the paid model is right for all projects that want to stay small and independent. But given the terrible track record of free bookmarking sites in particular, the fact that a Pinboard account costs money actually increases its perceived value. People don’t want their bookmarks to go away, and they hate switching services. A sustainable, credible business model is a big feature.

So that’s the story of our big Yahoo adventure – ten million bookmarks, eleven thousand new users, forty-odd refunds, and about a terabyte of newly-crawled data. To everyone who signed up in the thick of things, thank you for your terrific patience, and for being so understanding as we worked to get the site back on its feet.

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