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Integrating Del.icio.us With Your Web Browser

I've seen many arguments over the value of del.icio.us, but the most common skeptic's question is, "why add a layer of hassle when my browser has built-in bookmarks?" I won't get into the argument over why or why not to use del.icio.us, rather I want to point out how to use del.icio.us with your web browser in a nearly seamless fashion.

Here's a step-by-step guide to integrating del.icio.us with Firefox (all major platforms), Safari (Mac), and OmniWeb (Mac).

  • Join del.icio.us if you haven't already.

  • Get the del.icio.us bookmarklets, at least the "post to del.icio.us" one, and drag them into your favorites bar. These are handy for adding new bookmarks as you browse. Firefox users: you can use the del.icio.us plugin instead, but it doesn't have the "your tags" list, which I consider extremely useful. Thus I prefer the bookmarklet over the plugin.

  • Tag some sites, starting with your existing bookmarks. I tend to only use 1-2 tags per entry; others will use many tags. I follow del.icio.us convention and use lowercase tag names, and follow what tags others are using, e.g. "programming" is popular, so I use that in place of other terms like "coding" or "developer."

  • Now the good stuff. Subscribe to the RSS feed for your bookmarks, and for any tags you refer to often.

    • Firefox: Click the "Add Live Bookmark..." button at the right side of the Firefox location bar, then click "Add RSS of (your name)'s bookmarks as Live Bookmark..." Give it an appropriate label and location, e.g. the top of your bookmarks menu. (Adding a Live Bookmark of your tags can also prove handy.)

    • Add Live Bookmark in Firefox
    • Safari: Click the orange "RSS" button at the bottom of your del.icio.us page to get the feed, then bookmark it. Note: in "Preferences > RSS" set "Default RSS Reader" to Safari while doing this step. Also change "Remove Articles" to "Never."

    • Add RSS in Safari
    • OmniWeb: Click the orange "RSS" button and a "Subscribe to News Feed" sheet will pop up. Give it an appropriate name and select your favorites bar as the location.

  • Browsing your bookmarks is a little different in each browser:

    • Firefox: Click the Live Bookmark and you'll get a drop-down list of entries. You can also set the search field to search del.icio.us, and your bookmarks matching a search term will show up at the top.

    • Browse Live Bookmark in Firefox
    • Safari: Click the feed bookmark and you'll see the RSS feed, then click on an entry to go there. You can also search if needed -- the search box is already highlighted and ready for typing. (The latter is handy when browsing the feed for all your bookmarks.)

    • Browse Feed in Safari
    • OmniWeb: Click the feed bookmark and you'll get a drop-down list of entries. Select the entry to go there. Or, even better: just start typing in the location bar. You can type either part of the URL or the description for an entry, and the drop-down list will show live matches. Big-time kudos to Omni for this feature.

    • Location Bar in OmniWeb
  • Note that as you add tags, the RSS feeds will take a little while to update, perhaps 30 minutes to an hour. If you need to dig up a newly-added bookmark before then, you can just go to your del.icio.us page and find it there.

Piece of cake, right? Now you can use your del.icio.us bookmarks almost as seamlessly as built-in browser bookmarks, plus you get all the additional features of del.icio.us.

Comments

Tried this also on firefox on the macbook. No joy on some of the live feeds...they remain empty. So, guess that's it for me on this.

thanks a lot that was nice

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