The del.icio.us team have blogged today about a survey they're inviting users to take:
As mentioned recently in this blog, we’re working on a lot of improvements for del.icio.us. We’ve just posted a survey as a way to get feedback and opinions from you, the users. We want to make sure that we’re focusing on the right things, fixing what’s busted and not busting the stuff that already works. It’s not very long as surveys go, and hopefully it’s not too über-corporate. Thanks for taking the time to tell us what you think. We’ll be posting a summary of the results a few weeks after the survey closes.
I value del.icio.us greatly and use it … a lot (for which I've had my leg pulled more than once). I agree with Alan Dean who asked (comment on the blog posting cited above) that the survey be amended somewhat ('For example, on the first question I would like to select a "Research" or "Reference" option, but none of the available choices are really descriptive of this, the major way that I use your site.'), but whether this is done or not I hope lots of users of del.icio.us will take the five minutes required to complete the survey.
Right at the end you do get to an option where you can submit "other" points. These were mine:
1) 'Search' definitely needs to be improved — it needs to be quicker (searching within my own bookmarks for a term is often very slow and frequently results in a blank page), and pages generally need to load faster.
2) I'd also be interested if you made it possible to save a copy of a web page (as ma.gnolia does).
3) My del.icio.us data, and that of my network, really ought to be integrated (as and when I want it to be) with the web searches I perform through (eg) Google or Yahoo!. This is a great and obvious "gap".
4) The social aspect of del.icio.us needs to continue to evolve. For example, I'd welcome something like a network/open notebook stream where I could be scribbling brief notes like 'Anyone else puzzled by this?', etc. I find the notes we are entering often strain towards doing this, but they're a bit like a conversation in a soundproof room and (even then) you don't generally "hear" the replies, assuming there are any.
I'm sure that in a day or two I'll realise I would like to finesse these comments somewhat (they've received minimal touching up as posted here), but even Wiltshire has its fast currents and I'm currently speeding along …
Above all, I want to shout del.icio.us from the roof top because we live in a time when knowledge can be readily shared — and that's exciting. Getting excited about and around ideas and knowledge ought to be a fundamental trait of our culture, and I find my network on del.icio.us indispensable as a way of unearthing new, challenging and unexpected ideas. Steven Johnson wrote:
Thanks to the connective nature of hypertext, and the blogosphere's exploratory hunger for finding new stuff, the web is the greatest serendipity engine in the history of culture. It is far, far easier to sit down in front of your browser and stumble across something completely brilliant but surprising than it is walking through a library looking at the spines of books.
A great part of the appeal of del.icio.us for me is that it is a semi-guided (my network — absolutely crucial) knowledge discovery machine that again and again surprises me with new material and the interconnectedness of it all. It's a search engine that finds me things I hadn't yet thought of looking for.
How best to develop del.icio.us to let this all live even more fully? Twitter may or may not be rightly described as microblogging, but I want to microblog around knowledge. Will Yahoo! (this last week making great developments with their APIs and email) be brave enough to develop del.icio.us to allow this ecology to grow accordingly? (I've long given up on the del.icio.us bookmarks extension for Firefox — and have been amazed by the continuing flow of emails about the various instantiations of this add-on and the problems surrounding these.) del.icio.us is a fantastic innovation, Yahoo! — look after it!