Evolution of an idea

Back in the day, memepool was one of my very favorite websites. It was more or less anonymous, had a biting wit, posted very unusual links, and updated frequently so it made for a good daily browse. It was just a guy or two, sharing their cool links with whoever found them. The design remains unchanged to this day.
In 2001 I clicked the “comments” link at the bottom of the page and emailed:
> I’m wondering what you use to maintain the site. It has a very nice
> combination of chronological order on the home page and subject
> categorization. When I look at ‘weblog’ tools they seem very overblown
> if all one wants to do is keep track of ‘net flotsam and jetsam.
The entirety of the response was:
> I wrote it myself. Memepool predates all those tools and even the notion
> of “blogs”
I remembered memepool today, for the first time in years, and took a visit. At the bottom of the page now there are two names listed. One of them, Joshua Schachter, has a home page here. As it turns out, Joshua wrote del.icio.us, the social bookmark manager, otherwise known as a way to keep track of your ‘net flotsam and jetsam, and share it with the world.
Now does that complete the circle or what?
Here’s what Paul Graham had to say about Delicious recently:

The New York Times front page is a list of articles written by people who work for the New York Times. Delicious is a list of articles that are interesting. And it’s only now that you can see the two side by side that you notice how little overlap there is.

If you follow the timeline, Joshua graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1996. Memepool has been running since 1998. It’s likely that Joshua started memepool around the time he started high-school. Then at college he studied electrical and computer engineering. Then, either over time or in a fit of creative output, Delicious was born. Perhaps it wasn’t “based on” memepool, or perhaps it was designed to address a different set of goals, but it’s interesting that at its core there is still a good idea: That people find and collect interesting things (in this case, links) and want to share them with others.
What’s most personal is most general. That’s the collective unconscious in a nutshell. Observing that Memepool morphed into Delicious is a great example of how an idea evolves.