I knew that the Delicious take over was happening and I was pretty wary about any changes, but I never imagined that the changes would be so drastic so fast. God.
This is such a huge loss to fandom. Delicious as it is right now is completely unusable for most fans. See this post by kronos999 for the details. I know that Delicious plans to bring back a lot of the missing features but who knows how long that'll take, or how good the new old features will be?
As seperis said, "This isn't the equivalent of either time we got new management at LJ--and Livejournal, you realize you are officially going to be many people's new perfect standard of changeover, right? No, seriously, you are. People are going to be saying how awesome and wonderful and sensitive you were!"
To make matters worse, there isn't really a Delicious clone for people to flock to (like we did to GJ/IJ/DW). There's Pinboard, which seems like the site with the best features and has a fandom friendly owner, however fandom is never going to fully embrace a site without free accounts. Too many people won't be able to afford it or can't pay for things online. A lot just won't pay/put the money out there. Others, who are lurkers won't adapt to it (because they won't pay for something that they're not adding content to).
Diigo is free and is similar to Delicious, however they censor links posted to their site.
AO3 has it's bookmarking, but even they have said that they're not a viable alternative at the moment. There's also the fact that AO3 is a little too fannish. I want something a little more flexible from a social bookmarking site. There are a lot of things that I use fannishly that aren't specifically fanish. Like useful sites for researching fic ideas or meta that applies to fandom but isn't written by fandom. Or hell, just the random bookmarks I want to add that aren't related to fandom at all.
There are other Delicious-like options, but they just feel so off to me, and seem much more focused on web 2.0 where pictures or video supersede things link tag visibility.
There've been a couple places where people have talked about building a fandom Delicious, most of which have centralized to working with the Slash Report team. I'm really seriously considering joining their efforts (I'm not really a coder but I'm a good organizer!) but I need to examine my time commitments before I fully commit.
Back in December, when news of Delicious being "sunset"ed surfaced, my roommate kronos999 started seriously talking about building a fannish Delicious (which she dubbed "fic.ticio.us" in her head). She started researching and learning about new kinds of code (she does have programming experience, just not much with web programming - She's since joined the team headed by Slash Report).
We (kronos999, our other roommate diurnal_lee and I) also spent a lot of time in the months after that first announcement talking about what we'd want a fannish Delicious to have. Everything from basic functionality all the way to pie-in-the-sky-what-we'd-add-if-we-won-t
We've had many conversations about it but, with what happened to Delicious, we thought it'd be a good idea to actually get them organized and written down. Our living room is currently filled with multicoloured sticky notes and whiteboards covered in ideas (in a spectrum of do-ability). :P
So, without further ado, here's our ideas. Please feel free to throw in your own ideas, or talk about any of our ideas that don't work for you in the comments.
Basic, Must-Have Features
- Tags/Tag Bundles (and editing thereof)
- Clearly tags are the basis of Delicious and any such sites.
- You need to be able to sort by tag or by multiple tags.
- The ability to make specific tags private.
- Bulk editing of tags and tag renaming.
- The option to have a tag "definition" or explanation of how the user uses that tag.
- We want / to be allowed (and other special characters)!
- Auto-complete suggestions for tags when you start typing them.
- Auto-suggest tags before you start typing that you can click on (based on the tags others have used when tagging that link).
- Including specialized kinds of follows, like only following a specific tag by a specific user.
- Obviously we'd want users to be able to import their links from lots of different places.
- Link back dating when you import.
- Browser Extensions
- With features like tag autofills, drop downs.
- The ability to edit the link you're saving rather than just grabbing the current URL (for all the people that don't want cut id's or the threading for their comment).
- Links on site would include:
- The ability to backdate new links being added.
- The number times a link has been saved clearly visible.
- An easily visible way to determine if you've already bookmarked a link.
- The option to save another person's link to your account (with auto population of the title/description/etc.).
- User profiles.
- The ability to suggest a link to a user.
- The ability to send a user a private message.
- Search Features
- Boolean search options (including the not option!)
- Good filtering, like by tags (the not function would be really helpful here!), filter by your bookmarks, your network's, your subscriptions', or everyone's bookmarks. Also the option to filter by popularity, chronologically, alphabetically, etc.
The above features would ideally be there for rollout. Delicious already had most of those features and I'm sure there will be other basic features that Delicious had that I'm forgetting that would be included too (although feel free to remind me what they are). The next sections are add ons. Some could be implemented rather easily, others are OMG amazing features that for practical purposes are almost impossible (at the moment!).
- A Thank You button
- Like Kudos on AO3, it's a way for people who used your bookmark to find something they liked to send you an acknowledgement and say thank you.
- In the future, we could also add comment sections (either to someone's whole page or to a specific link) to increase the social aspect of bookmarking and to share squee.
- Read Later feature
- So many people bookmark things to their page with the intention to read it later. Having a Read Later option would help you separate these links from the rest. There could be additional features to it, like auto populating it with someone else' tags so you have an idea of the content of the link, but the auto populated tags wouldn't be included in your tags personal tags.
- (Newsletter) Export Abilities
- So many fandom newsletters use(d?) Delicious as a first step to generating their newsletter. It would be cool if this site could be more than a first step and allows you to customize exports so you can do everything without external help. This would also be great if you want a recs list, masterlists and I'm sure other things.
- Link Groupings
- I'm not calling it a stack, because we'd make it more usable (god, we want to see tags!) but at it's base stacks aren't a bad idea. For those unfamiliar with the new stack feature on Delicious, it's a way to group similar links into a separate section. So if you wanted you could, say, make a "stack" of your comfort fic, or all the mpreg fics you could find.
- Dynamic Privacy Levels
- Ideally this would be like LJ or DW, where you can set something as public, locked to your followers, locked to specific followers, or private.
- Open Links in Bulk
- Be able to select multiple links to be opened in new tabs (so you don't have to do it manually). It'd also be customization so you can open all links on the page, a group of links, etc.
- Star Links
- The ability to assign a special flag (like Gmail stars) for links you want to be easily accessible, like a link you super loved, or one you visit often.
- Keeping Bundles when Filtering by Tag
- On (old) Delicious, you only had tag bundles on your home page, the minute you clicked on one, any tags associated to the links showing were simply listed down the side in alphabetical order. It would be super useful if they still retained their groupings on the filtered page.
- Tag info Visibility
- A button or hover option to see the tags and other info you've assigned a link when you run across it elsewhere on a site. That way if you're going through your network/subscriptions/search results you can not only see if you've bookmarked it before but also find out how you bookmarked it to get the most meaningful information for you.
- 1+ For Your Links
- Maybe others aren't as anal as me, but everything (fannish) I read/listen to, I bookmark. I have tags set up to show when I read it to account for multiple reads. The +1 option would let you show that you've read/watched/listened to/whatever a certain link more than once. This can help with recs since if someone goes back to something multiple times, it's likely good content.
- Bundle Assigning on First Use of a New Tag
- When you create a new tag, have the option to assign it to a bundle right in the "save bookmark" interface. This has 2 benefits: 1. it's easier to organize your tags; 2. It's a warning that you're about to create a new tag (come on, we've all done typos that resulted in "new" tags, right?)
- Trending "Topics" on Homepage
- Feature a feed of the most popular tags at the moment, or most bookmarked links, etc.
- Filter Out Users
- If you use subscriptions or do a lot of specific searches, there's always the chance that you'll come across a user whose bookmarks are completely useless to you but they keep cluttering up your results. We want the option to filter those users out of my results.
- Baselink Subscriptions
- If you create fanworks, chances are you've gone to Delicious to do a vanity search, see how many bookmarks your work gets, what kind of comments/tags are being used. We want the ability to subscribe to that. So, say, anytime someone bookmarks a link with "paraka.livejournal.com" in it, it shows up in my subscriptions. This can also be handy if you only want the highlights of a high traffic comm or something like that.
- An advanced feature of this would be pattern matching, so say, any link with "paraka" in it shows up in my subscriptions.
- Filter by Groups
- Using myself as an example, I currently subscribe (well, if Delicious ever brings subscriptions back) to the tags "Kris/Adam", "Adam/Kris" and "Kradam". Those tags, for my purposes, are all synonymous. However, if I wanted to just look at the fics on my subscriptions featuring Adam and Kris paired together, I can only filter by one tag at a time. It would be useful to be able to group those tags together so I can filter results to just those tags. This is useful beyond synonymous tags, if you wanted all tags associated with a single fandom, or say all your vid feeds together.
- You could also group the people on your network into groups.
- Tag Bundle Hierarchies
- Delicious listed tags within a bundle alphabetically, but it would be useful to be able to provide your own hierarchy (say, by the ones you use most often, or if certain tags have a natural flow).
- And we could incorporate that hierarchy into your search/filtering of bookmarks. If, say you assigned a hierarchy to your length tags, you could filter your links so the longest are on top. Or if you assign ratings to your links, you can sort by that.
- Duplicate a Set of Bookmarks
- The ability to duplicated selectively or whole sale another account's bookmarks to your own bookmarks. If someone else helpfully bookmarked all 50 parts of a series, you could just grab those bookmarks and import them in one go, rather than trying to bookmark each part yourself (bulk tag editing would be useful here). Also useful if you have more than one account or are setting up a new account and would like to add everything over.
- Page Preview/Link Image
- This is an idea the web 2.0 bookmarking sites already incorporate (and is one of the features new Delicious introduced). It allows you to add an image to your bookmark, often a picture of what the webpage looks like.
I imported my bookmarks into Zootool on Tuesday and it automatically previews the page for you (which isn't all that useful to me since it mostly shows age statements for LJ). New Delicious will grab an image from the page you're linking to (it will grab one automatically? Maybe that's just in stacks) and only lets you choose from images shown on that page (and doesn't seem to let you choose no image).
We think both of those options can be useful to people if there's choice involved along with the option to choose no image (and the ability for users to turn off images all together). Images can help people visually scan their links and/or jog their memory (like, the link I'm looking for had a purple page!) but we think it could be particularly powerful if you could choose outside images.
For example I might associate an author/vidder/podficcer/artist/etc. with their default icon and could use that for all links to their works. Or I could use a set of default icons to represent top level tags, like having a podfic or a meta icon; icons to represent certain fandoms/pairings.
- Dynamic Notes Sections (when saving links
- We would like to change the way Notes sections are done now. Rather than having a single section we'd like to see a default "Summary" section with the option to add on multiple comment sections with the further option to name those comment sections.
To use a practical example, there's a user, Gill90, that shows up fairly frequently on my subscriptions. Zir comment sections look like this:
~WC | Summary: fic summary | Comment: personal comment. | Snippet: quote from the fic
Rather than trying to smush all that information into a single field, ze could use the Summary field for the fic summary and then create separate fields for the word count, snippet and comments.
This idea has so much potential. Our original idea for naming these alternate sections was free form, but we can also see the benefit of having certain default names with special features. Like the ability to search or filter links if they have a "rec" field. Or automatically condensing (so you'd have to click to see) "spoiler" fields. Oh, and a warning/trigger warning field!
We'd also want advanced options for these comment sections, like the ability to opt in or out of seeing them; either in general, just for a specific user or certain default fields (like if you never want to see spoiler fields, for example).
- Multiple Accounts Associated To a Single Sign On
- This idea started off as a way to better accommodate kink memes but expanded so much from there.
Many of us have multiple Delicious accounts, wouldn't it be nice to manage them all under a single sign on? So you'd have a main sign on to get on the site, but then you can choose to operate under various "aliases", with the option to advertise the connections between your aliases or to keep them hidden (if say you want your personal fannish alias associated with your special interest fannish alias, but don't want either associated to the alias of your real name). There should also be the option to combine alias accounts should you one day decide you don't actually need two separate aliases.
- We also want a kind of community alias that can have multiple users associated with it. That way you can have multiple people running the account (specifically if it's archiving something like a kink meme). This kind of community account would also require different levels of users/editing powers. For example the owner or top mod is the only one with the power to delete the whole account, some users can add new links, but not new tags, others can edit preexisting links, etc.
- We'd also like an option for others to suggest a link to a user/comm. Suggested links can go into a moderated queue where the user/comm can choose to accept the link, edit it or reject it. To make it more likely to be accepted, we'd like the option when suggesting a link, to have the tag autofills use the recipient's tagging system.
Think how useful this would be! When kink memes or charity auctions start lagging behind, their user base can start helping on a casual basis! If there's a fandom newsletter running off this site, you can send them the link to your new fanwork or the cool fanwork you just discovered! For users, friends can send you recs with your link information right there to pique your interest!
- A third kind of account could be aggregates. These accounts would kind of work like Retweets do on Twitter. If, say, you had the ambition to collect all the things! Like every fic in a single fandom, that can be a lot of links! You don't have time to go through, read them all and assign thoughtful and meticulous tags/comments/images/etc. to each link. You could choose to aggregate them though, grabbing an entry created by someone else, with someone else' tags/comments/etc. and copying it over. It would still show as being created by the original creator but your copy would survive even if the original disappears (with the option for the original creator to choose to leave their name on it or orphan the entry so their name is no longer associated to it).
- When having all of these different kinds of accounts and aliases under a single login it would be important for the settings of each account to have a degree of separation. Many times the needs of the different accounts will require different default settings. However there may be times when you'd like the default settings of one account to match those of another. Both options would be available.
- Tag Wrangling
- Inspired by AO3 and their wrangling system, we'd love to be able to adopt some of those features and move the idea even further.
- Unlike with AO3, our idea of wrangling is more user based. Rather than having a team wrangling tags together, users when setting up a subscription, or tag bundle could pick a tag they'd like to be the visible tag but also associate other tags to it. For example, when I bookmark, my pairing tag is "Kris/Adam" but if I accidentally wrote Kradam instead the tag wrangling would recognize Kris/Adam as an option and that's what would show in the autofill.
This would also make the suggested tags more tailored to your tagging system. Suggested tags are based on what other user's have used when saving the same link. If another user saved a link using Adam/Kris, but you have that tag wrangled to the tag you use, "pairing:Kris/Adam" that's the tag that would show
Wrangling also helps when searching for content elsewhere on the site. It would apply to subscriptions. Remember above when I was talking about grouping links together? I mentioned that right now I'm subscribed to the "Kris/Adam", "Adam/Kris" and "Kradam" tags on Delicious. With tag wrangling, I could wrangle those 3 tags together and simply have one subscription instead of 3!
The wrangling that users do for their personal tags would also be applied beyond their personal pages to help expand searches. If, say, someone was searching for content for a new fandom they've never tagged for before, (I'm going to fall back to AI8 for my example) they could search for Kris/Adam, and the fact that others have Adam/Kris and Kradam wrangled to Kris/Adam, the search result would show links for all 3 terms.
- Link Wrangling
- Have you ever seen a link that you think is new, since it doesn't show as being saved to your account, only to discover it's something you've already seen but this link included a cut id at the end? Or the comment thread details for the bookmarkers comment? Or you saved the AO3 version, but someone else saved the DW version? Link wrangling would allow people to mark those links as being the same! It's also useful if you get the urge to read a fic but LJ is down and you only have the link there! You could check the wrangled links to see if it's hosted elsewhere like on DW.
And there would be different kinds of wrangling. The kind above would be for different links to the same content, another kind of wrangling would be for similar content (which could be ordered or unordered). So if someone posted a story with sequel stories, you could bookmark and wrangle them together in order (especially useful when authors don't link between parts, or god, all the kinkmeme fics that are written in a bunch of different places). Or there might be a 'verse with many fics that don't have to be read in any particular order so you could wrangle the links together without assigning them an order.
Again, there would be some automatic wrangling suggestions for things already wrangled or based on patterns. So if you read a fic and didn't know there was a sequel, the site might suggest you wrangle those links and you've just discovered more of a good thing!
Wrangling these links together will also help when searching for new fics based on number of saves because now you'll have a more true number of how often a link has been saved (by including links that aren't the same but go to the same content in the count). It will also mean you have greater choice in which link you follow, ensuring you find content on the site you most prefer. An advanced feature would even let you prioritize which sites show first, so if you'd rather read something on AO3, that link will appear above the LJ link.
- Download Content
- There are people that like to have an offline version of the fic that they're reading, so we'd want to include the ability for the site to intelligently gather the info on the linked to page and export it for download. With different download options like in ebook format, pdf or html. When links are wrangled together as related items, you'd be able to download a multi-part story or entire series in one go.
- Scalable Sorts
- The ability to recognize certain tags as scales (ie. rating or length) and take the average value users assign a link so that users could sort unknown tags based on those averages. That way if you're in the mood for a longer fic, you could enter your search term and sort by length.
- Suggest Tags Based on Source
- I've mentioned in multiple places that the site would suggest tags to you based on the tags that others have assigned that link, but what if you're the first to link to it? Depending on where your link is coming from, the site could examine the page you've linked to, to see if there's any information that could be used as a tag. So if you're linking from AO3, for example, it could search the header field of the page and suggest tags based on what the author assigned to the work.
- Bookmark All
- This would be the option to bookmark all the links on a page. For example, you could link to someone's entire body of work by clicking this option when on their masterlist.
- Intersite Connectivity
- This would allow for you to easily repost your bookmarks elsewhere, like as posts to your journal or to be tweeted.
- In-site Streaming
- This would allow you to view content from other sites without leaving the site. So you could set up a vid playlist, with videos from multiple streaming sites but watch them all without having to change websites. Or if you do a search for fanart, for example, the pictures themselves (likely a thumbnail) would show up in search instead of you having to click to see them.
So yeah, those were the features we thought up. What do you think?