Delicious buys Aussie Trunk.ly expertise

Australian link-saving start-up Trunk.ly will be integrated into Delicious.com after being purchased by AVOS Systems, the company created by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, but the integration will come at a cost.

Australian link-saving start-up Trunk.ly will be integrated into Delicious.com after being purchased by AVOS Systems, the company created by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, but the integration will come at a cost.

(Logo of Delicious image by
Bernard Goldbach, CC2.0)

It all started when Hurley and Chen purchased Delicious, a social bookmarking site, from Yahoo earlier this year and recently relaunched it; however, at the time, the relaunch came under criticism by one of its competitors, Trunk.ly. Like Delicious, Trunk.ly saves links, but does so when users share or "like" them on websites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as opposed to adding them manually.

Trunk.ly co-founder Alex Dong wrote on Trunk.ly's blog that while he respected Hurley and Chen, he was worried they would take Delicious in a direction that would make the company "not a delicious any more", comparing it to Lady Gaga buying the Library of Congress to make it mainstream.

In the comments on his post, Dong wrote that the main problem that Hurley and Chen had wasn't incompetence — he called them geniuses and legends — but because they weren't users of link-saving services, Delicious included, they didn't understand the needs of its users. Dong, who is naturally a heavy user of Trunk.ly, said he would be "super happy if I could work with them one day".

With AVOS purchasing Trunk.ly, Dong appears to have received his wish, after he and co-founder Tim Bull spoke with Hurley and Chen.

"It became clear from the first discussion with Trunk.ly's founders that our visions for the future of bookmarking and discovery were closely aligned," said Hurley. "Their technology and insights will accelerate link-saving and searching capabilities in Delicious."

However, the acquisition has come at a cost for Bull and Dong.

As part of the deal, Trunk.ly will be discontinued, with the site immediately closing its new sign-ups and its existing users being given two months to migrate their links to other services, including Delicious. In addition, since Bull and Dong will be working full-time on Delicious, they will have limited time to spend on support for their former users. Especially since they also dedicate their time to numerous other projects they are involved in or giving back to the start-up community — Bull currently helps run a meet-up group on big data and analytics problems called Data Melbourne and is a mentor for PushStart and AngelCube.

Although Trunk.ly has lived a short life, with work on its code base beginning in October last year and its launch occurring in December that year, Bull and Dong were happy with the move to Delicious.

"We're very excited to be working with them, there is a great team there with ambitious plans and together we hope to build the best way to discover and collect the web," Bull wrote.