If you use SocialAdr regularly (and why wouldn’t you, it’s the best social bookmarking software out there, right?), you’ve no doubt noticed that there’s been a lot of turnover lately in the social bookmarking services that we support.  I wanted to take a few seconds and explain what’s been happening.

As you know, nothing on the Internet works perfectly.  We see random errors popping up with every bookmarking service, so we don’t get too panicky when it happens.  Sometimes there are bigger problems though, and those are what have been driving the changes to the services.  The services that we’ve turned off fall into a couple categories:

  1. Services that go down – Some services that were working well for us, like Backflip, just turn off.  In their case, it sounds like there was a problem with their host and they haven’t been able to get a restore.  They went down in October and are still not working, so we had to find someone else to replace them.  We had a similar problem with Searchles – they just randomly stopped working at all.  Luckily they came back, and we do monitor to see when services are working again so that we can add them back into SocialAdr.
  2. Services that are flaky – Some services seemed good when we evaluated them, or we received a recommendation for them, but once we implemented and started using them it turned out they just weren’t reliable.  When we see error rates at a steady 50%, it’s just not worth the hassle for us or for our users.
  3. Services that are aggressively opposed to software – We want to play nicely with social bookmarking services, and feel that because we only place links that our users choose to bookmark, there’s no reason we shouldn’t all get along.  But a couple of services, like Simpy, would definitely prefer that we did not connect to them.  We much prefer to just drop them and replace the service with someone else.

We think that we’ve got a solid, stable core of 14 services now, plus a couple that are probably on their way out.  We may leave them in for a while as a sort of ‘bonus’, in that we aren’t counting them into our number of links but they do work sometimes.  We’re expecting the churn to drop off drastically from this point forward, and are hoping not to need to replace any more services for a while.