Most people don't know who Joshua Schachter is. But as of recently, when the popular social bookmarking service he invented (known as del.icio.us) gained its 1,000,000th registered user, there are clearly plenty of Internet users who are familiar with his handiwork. In December 2005, del.icio.us was acquired by Yahoo and last week, out of a field of 35 innovators all aged 35 and under, MIT's Technology Review Magazine named Schachter its top innovator of the year. While I was at the conference, I had an opportunity to catch up with Schachter to find out more about him, his (or should I say Yahoo's) del.icio.us service, and what he's doing now that he is a Yahoo employee.
Using the embedded player above, the audio interview can be streamed to your desktop, manually downloaded, or if you are subscribed to ZDNet's IT Matters series of podcasts, it should turn up automatically on your computer and/or your portable audio player (iPod, iRiver, etc.). Here are a few of the highlights of the interview.
Schachter on what he's doing at Yahoo: I still am the general manager for delicious....working to figure out what the future of search is and how these things all tie together and what the big picture looks like.
Schachter on what the future of search is: [We're going to go from a world where] machines are telling you what's important and searching information [to a world where] we're actually going to be able search the knowledge of other people and get access to other people's opinions and thoughts and so on in a much more direct manner.
Schachter on Yahoo's selection of Internet Explorer 7 to front-end some of it's services (see the news): So long as we justify what we do, we have free reign to do what is the right thing for the product and for the users. A lot of users use Firefox so we (del.icio.us) support that as well as Internet Explorer. We are always looking to do the right thing.. not necessarily building something that fits a particular political profile. We're always looking to build the thing that is the right thing for the user.
Schachter on whether "Do the right thing" is Yahoo's version of Google's "Do no evil": Perhaps. It is a difficult dance to figure out exactly what the right thing for everybody [is]. I like to think that we always try to do the right thing.
Schachter on whether delicious will ever be monetized (it isn't now, at least not directly): We're still sort of discussing what the overall future is. But, a lot of this is still exploratory and experimental. So we're still more interested in figuring out where it can go and what it means before we do anything like that.