Newsreader vs. Del.icio.us

With respect to news feeds, I’m definitely a collector, which is part of the reason why I prefer [PulpFiction][] over [NetNewsWire][]: I keep a big number of news as persistent data, with the exception of some feeds with a very low SNR.

So, while most items just land in the database, I occasionally flag some items because they have some more significance to me: Either, they point to some important reference or they are particular well written posts.

At the time of this writing, I have about 230 flagged posts and several thousand non-flagged ones. Obviously, there’s not much more one can do (yet), except for adding labels to flagged articles. Once smart folders will be implemented in PulpFiction, this might change, though. But it’s a nice collection of useful stuff, anyway, and far better than bookmarks in Safari, as there’s actually some content associated with.


Cocoal.icio.usRecently, I signed-up for a del.icio.us1 account. Some days ago, I discovered [Cocoal.icio.us][], a Cocoa client for del.icio.us. Besides the fact that you can easily manage and search your bookmarks, it integrates with Newsreaders through the [NetNewsWire][] common post interface2.

All in all, this represent an intriguing way to manage essential or important information. However, I was facing a dilemma with respect to my current strategy:

Where do I manage my bookmarks? Do I keep the flagged system in PulpFiction or do I store all interesting URL’s in del.icio.us?

After some musing, I came to the conclusion that the best thing would be, to combine the two: As [Jon Udell][] pointed out in [his post about del.icio.us][Jon Udell], you can actually access the whole shebang via a RESTful [API][]: With some Python magic, I can synchronize my flagged posts with del.icio.us.

As Jon [already pointed out][Jon Udell], this should give the bets of the two worlds: I will be able to keep the associated meta-data of a post and still have the advanced bookmarking of the online repository, including the possibility to find related posts – which in turn I can either blog myself to have some meta-data or – maybe even better – I just subscribe to the del.icio.us feed of that group of URL’s.

This will give me the added benefit of leveraging the group mind. Or as Jon put it nicely:> The group mind knows things that I don’t; I know things that it doesn’t; use of a common tag effects a two-way transfer that benefits both.


del.icio.us also gives you hints if other people subscribed to the same URL etc. You can search by tag, user etc.

[API]: http://del.icio.us/doc/api[Cocoal.icio.us]: http://www.scifihifi.com/cocoalicious/ [lbaum]: http://lbaum.ch [Ecto]: http://www.kung-foo.tv/ecto/index.php[PulpFiction]: http://freshlysqueezedsoftware.com/products/pulpfiction/ [NetNewsWire]: http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/ [MarsEdit]: http://ranchero.com/marsedit/ [WordPress]: http://wordpress.org [El Reg]: http://theregister.co.uk[Job]: /2004/08/16/problem-solver-for-hire/ [Jon Udell]: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2004/08/11.html#a1057


  1. del.icio.us, for those who don’t know it, is a social bookmarking service. Members can post their bookmarks, tag individual bookmarks and do many more things with their lists. Part of the deal is, that everyone can see your bookmarks and that you can see who’s relating to the same bookmark and/or tag. ↩︎

  2. Beisdes [Cocoal.icio.us][], there are [Ecto][] and [MarsEdit][] on the client side, as well as [NetNewsWire][] and [PulpFiction][] on the reader side. There might be some more, but these are the ones I’m currently aware of. ↩︎

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