James Governor's Monkchips

Don’t Tar Me With The Furl Brush: Declaring Independence with Delicious

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I was talking to Stephen the other day and I asked him if he had furled something.

He replied: “Dont tar me with the furl brush”. You see, Stepho is a del.icio.us bigot.

Basically I keep meaning to fire furl, but then end up sticking with it, because that is where I have stored so much data. Its like of one of those doomed relationships where you know you want out, but you feel you’ve invested so much emotionally you can’t make a clean break. Its like I am worried furl can’t live without me… 😉

But just how long is it since furl introduced any new features? What have you done for me lately?

What is wrong with furl? Basically its another story of an acquisition for no reason. Looksmart has not added any new functionality since it acquired furl. Except adding the Looksmart logo to the main page. Actually guys that just LooksDumb.

I don’t want to sound too self-righteous but furl doesn’t even have a blog, unlike pretty much every decent web service I can think of. Its bad enough when enterprise software companies acquire other firms to milk their customer bases for maintenance fees. What are these services milking us for? Why buy a company you’re going to do nothing with?

I want new functionality on a regular basis. You wouldn’t read the same blog entry every day, would you? This is the beginning of the road for social bookmarking, not the end.

A long time ago I blogged about Furl versus delicious comparisons. Without an API, you can’t be a platform. Check out this updated google fight.

The simple truth is there is no comparison. While furl is an application, delicious is a platform. It has APIs and developers innovating to it. Things like being able to play MP3s on delicious links.

So as of today, I am going to stop storing things in Furl and start using delicious instead.

If furl starts to innovate I may come back, but for now I am delicious.

[Apologies to Dan Howard, aronaut and David Rossiter, who subscribe to my furl links. Don’t worry though I should be able to splice delicious tagged items into my RSS stream, like Stephen does.]


  1. How much did Looksmart pay for Furl? Maybe their M&A people just thought it’d be a fun toy to have. I’m always buying stuff (books mostly) I think will be cool/fun and then never using it. I’m sure that same pattern scales up to buying small’ish tech companies.

    And, you know, speaking of adopting new technologies, how about a comments feed for your blog here? Or have I just not been clever enough to find it.

    (Never mind that I don’t have a comments feed on my weblog. Stupid blogger. Talk about stagnent innovation. As The Whichard was heard to say at Lala’s one evening, “I don’t give a toot about MS-Word integration, give me a comments feed!”)

  2. You actually can sync them (Furl – also Simpy or Yahoo Web 2.0 – still has some nice complementary features like caching the bookmarked pages and full text search). Take a look here: http://www.socio-kybernetics.net/saurierduval/2005/05/delicious-furl-workflow.html

  3. good point cote – you can subscribe to comments on individual entries, but not comments as a whole.

  4. In Furl’s defense: having talked to the Looksmart CTO a couple of times in the last few months, I am assured that changes will be made…I’ve been pushing for the tagging functionality to be less horrible. There is a Furl News RSS feed on the front page, and many companies have a hard time sustaining company blogs. I would give Feedburner my first born child (not really) but they have slowed way down in their blogging lately.

    Things Furl offers that Del.icio.us doesn’t”
    *cache of each page when Furled
    * full text search of Furled pages as they currently appear, as they appeared when Furled plus all your metadata.
    *highlighted text populates the clipping field automatically
    *automated recomendations like: “people who furled this page also furled…”, “given your archive, you should also see these pages…” and “given your archive, you should also see these users…”
    *export any combination of archive sections in ALA or MPA citation format
    *simple and fast-loading RSS to HTML option (beats FeedDigest on pageload time)
    *UI is less intimidating for new users (I think)

    So I don’t think it’s as much of a hands-down victory for del.icio.us. Now all of that being said, I can’t really use Furl much right now because the tagging functionality makes me want to stick pins in my eyes and I was not aware that it could be synched with del.icio.us and its huge community of user/developers (I will check out your readers link asap)

  5. i didnt know about the interop either. said CTO needs to communicate with the market! i agree about tagging completely – thus my thoughts on migration.

  6. Good for you! (I’m a del.icio.us bigot, too.) I’ll be watching http://del.icio.us/jamesgovernor to see what you are thlinking… –ClaireG

  7. I couldn’t agree more. I have a lot of bookmarks in Furl, but have started using del.icio.us lately, mianly because of the API and the amount of third party tools written for it.

    Now that Yahoo have acquired del.icio.us, this should help to increase the support and community around it. Apps/Platforms like del.icio.us are only as good as the communities involved in them.

  8. Have you seen the new FURL upgrades? Looks like they are making it more tag-like, less topic-like.

    Also, new Google Group (unofficial) for Furl users:


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