Andy Davies

Feed Readers and Social Bookmarking - a Missing Link?

Why isn’t there an easy way of getting items from a feed reader into a social bookmarking service?

Like many people (or is it just the geeks?) I use Google Reader to keep up-to-date with news and opinions from around the web, and del.icio.us to bookmark the interesting things I come across. A couple of weeks ago MichaelSearcy’s analysis of Google’s Broken Bookmarking Systems popped up and got me thinking about how I could get more out of the Reader/del.icio.us combination and what it would take.

In Reader I tend to mark items I want to read later or keep for the future with a star, sometimes I get around to reading them again, and sometimes I get around to adding them to del.icio.us but sometimes despite my best intentions I don’t and slowly I’m building up two parallel sets of items I want to keep, one in Reader and one in del.icio.us.

What I need is an easy way to get items I want to keep from Reader into del.icio.us - currently I either have to open the item up in a new browser tab and then use the del.icio.us toolbar to add it, or use a Greasemonkey script to add the ability to post straight to del.icio.us from Reader and it’s not always how I want to work.

What I want to be able to do is mark something as shared in Reader and have it appear in my del.icio.us inbox and from there I can choose to save it (being able to delete items from the inbox would be helpful too).

Reader already produces a feed for shared items (and other the labels if you know how to get at them), but del.icio.us doesn’t have any way of consuming feeds and they don’t seem too keen on the idea of adding it. I’ve had a brief scan of some of the other social bookmarking sites and they don’t seem to support getting bookmarks from a feed either, so perhaps there’s an opportunity for someone?

For the second part of the puzzle I’d like a way of having any tags I attach Reader to be included in the feed, this is something del.icio.us does with its feeds so Reader could do it via something like xFolk microformat, then not only will my shared items arrive in my del.icio.us inbox but they’ll also arrive with tags already attached.

Data portability and how private data can be shared between social services is a hot topic but right now, I’d settle for services that can share my public information!

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