Well it seems Joshua has finally given in to the hordes of taggers out there and has taken del.icio.us full time. What’s interesting though is how he’s managed this. His post to the mailing list mentions outside investment:
I’ve given a lot of thought to how to make this happen, and ultimately decided that the best way forward is to take on some outside investment.
I’ve taken this step because it lets me continue to grow del.icio.us while keeping it independent.
As yet no mention as to what the source of that investment might be. One of the dangers of outside investment is that the service changes to the extent it is no longer one that the original users care to use. This is certainly a concern I have Bloglines since their acquisition by Ask Jeeves. Whilst I’m in no danger of loosing my bookmarks (Joshua is clear on this – the users own their bookmarks and their tags) what is more important is the metadata. What has emerged has been described as a Folksonomy by many, and is without doubt what makes del.icio.us valuable. The ownership of the emergent network of tags is as yet unclear.
Personally I have no problem with Joshua making steaming piles of cash of del.icio.us, or even the metadata – as long as I still get to use it. Only time will tell.