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Note To Furl: should you be more del.ici.ous?

I have pointed to Furl a couple of times recently. i like the online bookmarking service. but i do admit to having a certain del.ici.ous envy.

This post from by business partner didn’t help. But i can’t help wondering if some of the apparent momentum in delicious is down to the Udell effect. John is a blogosphere supernode and his interest in del.ici.ous is piquing others too.

So am i envious of the buzz or the service itself? and how come furl seems to be garnering less interest.

Well, it turns out googlefight-ing challenges assumptions and points to the idea i may indeed have fallen into a self referential chamber:

furl vs. del.ici.ous: furl has about twice as many google mentions as delicious (could be down to the weird periods in the del.ici.ous though)

so i got to wondering whether it was that del.ici.ous is just more API oriented – so it is getting picked up more broadly in developers minds, because of its politics of lighweight service calls.

here googlefight’s results definitely surprised me
del.ici.ous API vs furl API 13 results for delicious to 8,260 for furl…

and as it transpires there is plenty of furl buzz in feedland.

my opinion is shifting as i look around and remember an article called 10 Cool Things To Do With Furl, which led me on through technorati to More Furl Tricks

and then to Travis Swicegood, who helpfully offers a comparison of the two services The bottom line according to Travis – “Furl does a lot of the same things as, but it appears they’ve taken notice of their competition’s short-comings.”

And so on to what looks like a factor and comment to consider, posted by Chris Lott. He points to del.ici.ous role in the world of Restful interfaces – “ excels when you want to share your bookmarks on a wider basis, when tagging makes more sense than categories, and when you want to access programmatically using the REST interface.”

To wrap up – for now! – this is an area that i want to keep tracking. But from what i know of the services so far it seems while furl is more consumer driven in terms of interface and now ownership, del.ici.ous is more part of the restifarian universe.

Its not clear which is so far most effectively driving architecture of participation. Which brings me neatly to Stephen’s discussion of the changing notion of what constitutes a “service”.

While innovation in WS-I seems to be slowing, there is a world of service splicing where innovation is far less constrained. Finally i have to say to furl again – keep up the good work, you are evidently very tasty, but please hurry up with your group bookmarking functionality! spurl has that already?

And does anyone know of any furl to delicious integration yet? i hear spurl supports that too-looks like another service to look at.

Anyone reading this blog entry might turn away and think this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. fair enough. my point is that the conversation is still ongoing and i am still listening. and hopefully usefully aggregating.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Comment Feed

8 Responses

  1. Hi James,

    I think you need to quote your search terms. Try:

    “ api” => 724


    “furl api” => 0



  2. It seems like echo chambers can improve the signal to noise ratio after all. Thanks very much Jon, and i must say those numbers make more sense in terms of the del.ici.ous conversations i have been following.

    I believe the lines in the sand in the piece still have some relevance, and are *supported* by your very helpful clarification.

  3. One difference between the two is their terms of service, in particular items 6 and 7 of furl’s ( has no TOS that I can find. It’s less functional, but also much less restrictive.

    Rick InnisDecember 7, 2004 @ 2:37 amReply
  4. try your googlefight again using not del.ici.ous

  5. you misspelled delicious in the API fight.
    NO===> del.ici.ous API vs furl API
    YES==> API vs furl API
    The weird periods got you there πŸ˜‰
    Try this for a change:

  6. you misspelled delicious in the API fight.
    NO===> del.ici.ous API vs furl API
    YES==> API vs furl API
    The weird periods got you there πŸ˜‰
    Try this for a change:

  7. has a new upgrade released Jan 2007.

    Also, there is a new FURL users group:

  8. I found this article by googling furl api, since I could find nothing on furl’s home page. Not a word. Maybe it’s there, if so it is a textbook bad design.

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