Friday, April 20, 2012

RSS feeds from tagged items on Delicious

In the good old days, you used to see RSS feeds all over the place for Delicious.  The subscribe option was at the bottom of just about every page.  But then... they disappeared.  And all of that aggregating loveliness disappeared.  Yes, you still get an RSS feed for your personal Delicious bookmarks and that's easy to subscribe to - and of course you can subscribe to other people's RSS feeds too. However, one of the very nicest things about social bookmarking is... well... the social bit.  And subscribing to a particular tag from all users is just not easy at all.

I'll just go back a step and answer the question 'Why would you want to do that?' before I waffle my way into oblivion.  Well, subscribing to a tag rather than an individual is perfect if you have a team that's constantly finding useful resources on the web and they're all linked in some way - just ask them to tag them with whatever they want plus your unique tag and you can happily bring all of them together to share with others.  It doesn't matter who's saving it, you can bring it together with a unique tag.  For example, in the past I've used the tag 'NTUEDU' as a unique tag and asked anyone at Nottingham Trent University to tag resources they saved on Delicious with that tag.  What I could then do was say to other people 'this is what we're interested in, this is what we think are good resources about learning / technology' and get them to subscribe to that link or bring them into places like NetVibes.  Equally, you can use services like to tweet a link that's been saved to Delicious from any user - provided you have an RSS feed for it.  Or use something like Google Reader to find out if anyone's using a hashtag to save resources for a conference you're going to attend.

However, those RSS feeds for tags saved by multiple users disappeared from Delicious a year or so ago that makes trying to do the above things kinda frustrating!

But, I've just been tinkering about with setting up a new NetVibes page and wanted to share what items are being saved from me and others which relate to our work.  Easy.  Just aggregate the things people are saving with a unique tag.  Ah.  Problem.  The missing RSS feeds.

I tried to track them down.  I spent a while messing with to create an RSS feed from my searching for the tag I wanted on Delicious.  And it worked.  But mangled my head en route with all those {%} doobries, extraction rules and the like.  And it just doesn't seem like an easy solution.  But it is one way around it.

However, after doing that, I did a bit more Googling to find out the back story to the missing RSS feeds and spotted this from someone else:

And the lightbulb moment happened. 

Just change that end bit - and there's your RSS feed.

If the tag you want to aggregate is 'elearning', your RSS feed would be

With that little RSS feed you can then aggregate, auto-tweet, auto-save, easily share and really use some of the benefits of social bookmarking.

Oh, and if you prefer to use Diigo for your social bookmarking, then you can do that, but set up the 'Save to Delicious' function in Tools, and it'll automatically push your bookmarks, complete with tags, to Delicious.  To be honest, this is the option I do because I prefer Diigo, but have always like the RSS-ability of Delicious!

The final RSS treat I discovered on my RSS traipsing was a list of all the RSS Feeds for Yahoo services - I accept this is a little nerdy, but if you like your RSS and like squishing it together with other services / tools, then it's useful to know what else is readily out there.

And here endeth my geekish stuff for the week!


  1. I have been so sad at the loss of the old tagrolling possible with Delicious, although I don't think it would have worked in Google Sites, which is where I have to work at the moment.

    Unfortunately the delicious feed (if used in a Google Sites RSS gadget) only gives a list of links (okay if you edit for really good titles I guess).

    I'm still fiddling with trying to get a good feed from Diigo, to be usable within Google Sites. Found a variety of gadget suggestions based on the Groups widgets that didn't appear to work. And Diigo wasn't being cooperative with tags within groups either. I did get a feed for personal tags and tag combinations which included a snippet of my notes--but that doesn't help if I want to create a an embedded list of group collected material.

    1. Ditto with Diigo - I wish you could get the old tagrolls to work - it's really frustrating. The lack of description for the Delicious links is a pain, but if you're just signposting resources in a smallish gadget, it's not too bad. just won't see anything when you try to get a feed off a Diigo page - don't know why, but feel sure there's a way to get it to work. Will carry on fiddling - if you find out how, can you let me know too?


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