Sharing bookmarks and clipped posts

June 11, 2008

One of the things we want to be able to do as librarians is quickly and easily share our newest discoveries with our clients and each other. I wanted to add a display for my shared, bookmarked and clipped items to this blog.

Sharing from an RSS reader
Social bookmarking like del.icio.us is an obvious choice but how about from my feedreaders. Google Reader makes it easy providing an RSS feed for both starred and shared items. But I recently shifted to Feeddemon, a desktop reader because Google Reader cannot see firewalled feeds such as those generated by our internal wiki. Feeddemon has a “add to clippings folder” which acts much like “starred items” in Google Reader. The trick to sharing them was to synchronize with Newsgator – Feeddemon’s online partner.

Problems along the way
Initially I synchronized all my feeds making them available to myself at any computer. The trouble was that for some reason a great number of my feeds stopped updating all at the end of May. It was a busy time for me so I initially didn’t notice. A trawl through Newsgator’s support forums indicated I wasnt alone but that Newsgator were treating incidents on a one at a time basis. I wanted my feeds back quickly. When you use Feeddemon the request for an update for a feed comes from your own PC. When you synchronize via Newsgator they come from the Newsgator servers then are downloaded to the PC. Switching off synchronization updated my feeds again.

Resolution
However, thankfully, turning off synchronization doesn’t turn off synchronizing the “Clipping folders” (don’t ask me why). And there is a RSS feed for it (very hidden but they give you the URL in very tiny font right down the bottom to the page). There is one last step. I wanted to have one place where everything I bookmark online can appear and I use del.icio.us for items I come across not in a reader. I took the RSS feed for my del.icio.us bookmarks and the RSS for my Feeddemon clippings and added both to a  Google Reader folder. I went to (confusingly) “tags” under the Google Reader settings and there made that folder “public”. Then going to “view public page” for the folder gives me the RSS feed for the mashed up feeds which I could add to a widget to display in the sidebar of the blog.

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