Welcome back, Delicious!

What was the first 'web 2.0' website you heard about? MySpace? Flickr? For lots of people, it was Delicious.

Delicious - then known as del.icio.us, after its marvellously idiosyncratic URL - was one of the first 'social' websites to catch the tech community's eye. A 'social bookmarking' service, it let you store sites of interest on the web in a place they could be seen and shared by others. You could subscribe to others' bookmarks and build a 'network' of sharers. Given that sharing cool stuff on the web is one of the main things like to use it for - the first blogs, or 'web logs,' were lists of interesting web sites - it was super-popular.

Then - ah, the old disaster - it was bought by Yahoo. Like its photo-sharing cousin Flickr, it didn't thrive under the ownership of a company that really didn't know what to do with the service. There were few new features, and richer link-sharing sites like Digg, Reddit and Tumblr overtook the service.

Then last year, it seemed like Yahoo planned to close Delicious down. After much online outcry, the internet giant said that it only intended to sell the service. And in April, it did - to AVOS, a company founded by two programmers called Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. You might have heard of them - they founded a small video-sharing site called YouTube.

And this very day, Delicious has relaunched, with a new look and some new features. A new front page gives a nifty visual preview of cool stuff being shared, while the idea of 'subscriptions' and your 'network' has been updated to the more fashionable idea of 'following.' New is the ability to add 'stacks,' lists of links that are designed to resemble music or video playlists.

'Relating to YouTube terms, playlists were an under-appreciated feature of the site, and we saw an opportunity to introduce that concept in a broader sense against all media,' Chad Hurley says.

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