2 Very Simple Ways to Backup All Your Del.icio.us Bookmarks

delicious.jpgWith the word out today that Yahoo will be shutting down Del.ico.us at some point in the near future (per TechCrunch and AllThings D), the buzz on Twitter tonight has been all about how to backup your del.icio.us bookmarks... and what other services to use. Having been a long-time user of delicious, with literally thousands of bookmarks over many years, I was naturally concerned and followed the conversations closely.

The net of all that is that there are two simple ways to backup your bookmarks today (and I've done them both).

First, you can simply go to:

https://secure.delicious.com/settings/bookmarks/export

You will get a HTML file that includes all your links and notes and, in the HTML source, all your tags.

Second, for the more technically inclined with access to the "curl" command from a command prompt, you can issue this command:

curl https://[username]:[password]@api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/all > bookmarks.xml

which will get you a nice XML file full of all your bookmarks, tags and notes. This worked like a charm in a terminal window on my Mac. (Hat tip to @andrew_k on Twitter for this tip and to @pfhyper who retweeted it.)

Now that you have either or both an HTML or XML file you can then import those into some other service... or at the very least have access to your bookmarks. You obviously don't have the "social" aspect of del.icio.us, which is where so much of the power lies... but you do have all your bookmarks.

Note that in theory you should be able to issue these commands up until Yahoo! shuts down the service... so if you keep bookmarking sites in the weeks ahead, just remember to re-issue these commands from time-to-time to keep a local backup.


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MarsEdit supports Tags in WordPress 2.3!

3556F7EF-9D29-46AB-B0E7-D22339A82D50.jpgOver on my Voxeo blog site, we are using WordPress MU which is based on WordPress 2.3 and includes a very nice "tags" feature in addition to categories. This allows you to do things like have the "tag cloud" that you can see in the right sidebar of our "Speaking of Standards" blog. It's quite nice but in working with the blog site, we ran into one major annoyance - none of the offline blog editors on the Mac seemed to support WordPress 2.3 tags. This resulted in a bizarre posting process where if you wrote the post offline you then needed to login to the site to go back and add tags to the post. Thankfully, a quick search brought me to a post back in September indicating that marsedit already supported WP 2.3 tags! All that is required is to go into the View menu (when writing a post) and choose "Keywords Field". When you enter in keywords, those are then automagically mapped to WP 2.3 tags when you publish the post. VERY nice!

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Google's "Shared Stuff" lets you share web sites/URLs publicly, or with Facebook, del.icio.us and others (review with screenshots)

Google yesterday quietly rolled out their "Shared Stuff" social bookmarking/sharing service and predictably there were a slew of postings in the blogosphere. Here's my little quick tour for you. First, you add a link on your bookmark bar:

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Now you just click on the bookmark whenever you are on a page you want to share, very much like you do with del.icio.us, Facebook, digg or any of a zillion other services. The result is a popup page that looks like this:

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Once you do any of the optional things like add a comment, change the picture or add tags, you simply hit "Share" and you get a page telling you of your success and giving you the link to your Shared Stuff page:

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Clicking on the link brings me to my own private version of the "Shared Stuff" page (because I'm logged in with my Google account):
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which looks sort of like the public page you all will see (which I get by clicking the "As everyone sees it") link:
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You'll immediately note that the page everyone sees only has one of my two items on it. I can't explain why... and I've forced a browser refresh multiple times to try to see if it was a browser issue but that seemed to do nothing.

Now I could not for the life of me figure out any way to edit the listing I had on the page, but by simply sharing the same URL again, it seems to have corrected the issue (and I also could change the picture associated with it).

It is somewhat annoying that for the "article preview", it grabs the blog subtitle instead of the first bit of the actual post text - and there seems to be no way to change that, although you can add a comment. However, I have the same problem with Facebook "Shared links" and its preview.

Speaking of Facebook, the Google Email/Share feature has a "More..." link that brings you to a second page where you can share the link on Facebook, Furl, del.icio.us, Social Poster (which I'd not heard of), Reddit and Digg:
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I clicked on "Facebook" and got the standard Facebook sharing screen:
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You also can email a link (and add it at the same time) which is naturally integrated with Gmail:
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The "Shared Stuff" feature does have some other interesting aspects, such as RSS feeds, the ability to see stuff shared by others (based on your Gmail address book) and the ability to search for stuff shared by other users based on domain or tag. However, as I discovered, there is this minor detail that tags must be separated by commas although it doesn't tell you that! Being used to del.icio.us, I put a space between my tags, with the resulting amusement:
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It is looking here for the most popular stuff tagged "pme podcastexpo podcasting socialmedia" all as one giant tag. Oops. I shared it again and inserted commas, after which it worked fine. However, I did have to change the image again as it defaulted back to the first image (my picture) instead of the one I had chosen.

Given that I am a heavy user of del.icio.us and am already all set up to use that, and that I'm also sharing stuff within the walls of Facebook, I'm not really sure how much I'll use this new Google service. However, given that it's Google and one might expect that some of this information might ultimately show up in search rankings (or at least affect search results), there's a good chance it might be worth at least continuing to experiment with it.

What do you think? Will you use this new service? Or will you stick with the others?

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Technorati does a design refresh - but seems to lose the easy "tag" search in the process (and I'll miss that!)

Congrats to the Technorati team on their new site design!  Overall it's a nice "refresh" of their design.  Of particular note, I like their new simple search interface, s.technorati.com, which is very simple and clean and shown in the image on right.  (And as an old-time UNIX/Linux guy who likes short commands,  can I just say that I appreciate the shortened subdomain of "s".)

Dave Sifry's post has much more info but there's one item I'll pull out that is a mixed change for me:

First, we've eliminated search silos on Technorati. In the past, you had to know the difference between keyword search, tag search and blog directory search in order to make use of the full power of our site. No more. Starting today, we now provide you a simplified experience. Simply indicate what's of interest to you and we'll assemble the freshest, hottest, most current social media from across the Live Web - Blogs, posts, photos, videos, podcasts, events, and more.

But what if I want the search silos?

Specifically, what if I want to search for posts tagged with a given tag?  Yes, that's still available on the Advanced Search page and yes, I can create a URL like http://technorati.com/tag/voip and use that... but I guess you can count me as one who liked the aspect of the old interface where you could choose to just search on tags.

Why?

Well, searching on posts by tag represents a richer way to search for me.  Searching for a string in blog posts pulls up all sorts of things (and can be very difficult to sort through if you are searching for a generic text string), but searching for a tag gets into the author's intent.  The author did more than just write about something, they tagged it to indicate that it had some relevance to that category.

It also, quite frankly, provided a way to separate out the absolutely clueless newbie bloggers from those who have a clue about blogging and applying meta-information to their entries.  Tags are not perfect... spammers certainly tag their entries with all sorts of irrelevant tags which pollute search results... but they are one additional way to aid us in sorting through the huge volume of information posted to the blogosphere.

So I use tag searches all the time, and it was easy to just go to technorati.com, enter in text and change the option box to a tag search.  Now, that option seems to be gone and I have to either do one more click to the Advanced Search (easy to bookmark and use from my systems, but not as quick when I'm elsewhere and need some info) or construct the appropriate URLs.

Technorati team, for those of us who love tag searches, how about giving us a "tag.technorati.com" that will let us search by tag?

Other than that, the refresh looks quite nice - kudos to the team for making it happen.

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