Edit 24/7/12: Gary Green has written a good explanation of what stacks are and why he liked them, if you wanted more background info.
Unfortunately Delicious has just announced that they plan to stop supporting Stacks in August. Users will still be able to save bookmarks to Delicious, but won’t be able to make a page (stack) of links where they choose the image for each link, change the order of the links, etc. Update 24/7/12: on Twitter yesterday, Delicious told me “While stacks are going away, visual tag & link displays are in development that we think your library is gonna love!”. I pointed out it might have made more sense to develop these features before removing the existing stacks functionality, but hey ho.
I co-run a Keeping Up-to-date With Your Field workshop for staff at my conservatoire, and this year a few members of staff were excited by this feature of Delicious, and keen to use it to curate pages of links for their students. I therefore quickly collated a a few alternative options for them, and thought I’d blog it here to plug the gap until Phil Bradley does it better!
1. Delicious tags instead of stacks
If you want students to look at a selection of links, you could give them all the same tag and then send students the link to that tag (or put it on Moodle). For example, here’s my library’s links on keeping up to date on Delicious.
The downside is that you can’t choose the order of links – they’re ordered by the date you saved them.
Diigo is another social bookmarking site like Delicious, and it allows you to make lists – these resemble image-free stacks and let you edit the order of links. An example list is below:
Visual view (via ‘Play as webslides’ link at top-right)
Diigo also offer a free educational account where you can set up student accounts and put them in private groups.
These look the most similar visually to stacks. I haven’t used the site myself but had it recommended by Susan Merrick (a school teacher/librarian) at the recent London LibraryTeachMeet (which I’ve nearly finished writing up, honest!)
Downside: looks like there’s a limit of five pages (topics) per free account.
4. Jog the Web
This leads students through a menu of websites which are loaded in the same window – good if you want them to look at sites in a specific order. This was also recommended by Susan Merrick.
Downside: I have some concerns about the longevity of this site as the FAQ and support forum are inactive. Use at your own risk!