Delicious And Perpetual Beta

What Does Perpetual Beta Mean?

Tim O’Reilly, 2005, describes the perpetual beta as seeing programs and devices as ongoing services when they are connected to the internet, as opposed to software artifacts (O’Reilly, 2005). This perspective encourages software to be developed in a more innovative way by adding new features regularly and allowing users to engage with the software as real-time testers. Additionally, O’Reilly states “The open source dictum, ‘release early and release often’ in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, ‘the perpetual beta,’ in which the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis” (O’Reilly, 2005).

There are many Web 2.0 services that utilise the perpetual beta pattern to their advantage to provide users with good web applications and software. One example that uses this pattern is Delicious.

What Is Delicious?

Delicious is a free tool available to users that allows them to save, organize, and manage links they find on the internet. Users can save their links anywhere on their phone or tablet by visiting the main site or downloading the app.

Delicious ‘releases early and releases often’ by using innovative and flexible methodologies to fix bugs and improve the service. On their blog site, they announce big updates to the main site, their API etc. One change they’ve done recently is implementing a new feature that allows users to sign in with their Twitter or Facebook (jessie, 2013).

Delicious also engages their users as co-developers and real-time testers by recording user behavior as an accurate model for assessing their features and to see how they interact and use the site. Additionally, there have been multiple studies focusing on analysing user behavior across social sharing environments and leveraging tagging to model user interests in Delicious. Delicious also encourages feedback from its users. A few years ago, Delicious was receiving some negative feedback from users on their Facebook page but responded proactively and positively to the critiques and went about to improve their product (markjowen, 2011).

Issues And Improvements

There are some privacy issues when Delicious starts recording and profiling user behaviour but this can be said with all applications. For example Flickr developed a ‘loneliest users’ report that identified some users that were not inviting their friends to join the service and I wouldn’t be comfortable knowing that one of the services I use have put me under a category called ‘loneliest user,’ but then again that’s just my opinion on the matter and now that I think about it, the title is probably just a (somewhat humorous and sad) means to record their user behaviour data. Most applications use some sort of algorithm or method to see how users interact with the service so they can improve on certain features etc.

Some improvements they could do with this service is use a more effective way to search for specific tags. I know some people use a lot of tags and sometimes I just want to see something specific. Unfortunately Delicious doesn’t quite employ this well enough and have them in a list on the side. You can use the selection feature but I find that it’s a little slow and complicated to use and produces inaccurate results.


Thanks for reading!

Laura 😀



AVOS. (2013). Capture the web you’ve been missing – Delicious. Retrieved from

Delicious Blog. (2013). Delicious Blog. Retrieved from

Delicious. (2013). Delicious. Retrieved from

Ferrara, E. De Meo, P. Abel, F. Aroyo, L. & Houben, G. (n.d.). Analyzing User Behavior across Social Sharing Environments. Retrieved from

jessie. (2013, March 28). Springing Forward at Delicious | Delicious Blog [Web log post]. Retrieved from

markjowen. (2011, March 10). Delicious’ tasteful reaction to negative feedback | MarkjOwen’s Blog [Web log post]. Retrieved from

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0 – O’Reilly Media. Retrieved from

Stoyanovich, J. Amer-Yahia, S. Marlow, C. & Yu, C. (2008). Leveraging Tagging to Model User Interests in Retrieved from



4 thoughts on “Delicious And Perpetual Beta

  1. Hi Laura,

    Does Delicious receive feedbacks only on Facebook or are there any other social media tools that Delicious have to interact with the users? I myself too dislike it if a web application would categorize my page into a lonely list. This could potentially disregard further using of the web application. There could be many reason why users had use the application in a less time basis. It is great to hear that Delicious is still currently running and trying to improve their ways to handling critiques and feedbacks positively. Cheers!

    • Hi Jerfen 😀

      Thanks for commenting! I don’t have a Delicious account and sort of use it as an offline user but as far as I can tell there’s no feedback link that I can find. There’s a problem reporting link though which is fairly useful. I think if they could have a feedback link that’s easy of all users to find it would really improve their service.

      Hahahaha yes I agree, I’d be upset with being under such a sad label like ‘lonely user.’ I like how Delicious dealt with all the negative feedback positively and even interacted with their users on Facebook.

      Thanks for commenting Jerfen! Kind regards, Laura 😀

  2. Hi

    Delicious appears to be an improved perpetual beta. Recording user behavior to assess their features is an excellent way of tapping the raw data or information from its user base and use the information to update the site.
    Profiling its users is a different matter though. I wouldn’t want to find myself in the “loneliest users” category, too. Is there a single person who wishes to be included in the list?


    • Hi Hussain 😀

      Thanks for commenting! Delicious always seems to be updating its service in order to satisfy its customers and improve its service.

      And yes I do agree hahaha I was quite surprised to hear there was such a list that exists called “loneliest users.” What a very sad title.

      Thanks again for reading Hussain! Kind regards, Laura 🙂

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