// Internet Duct Tape

Yahoo Pipe: Sub-Reddit Feed Filter

Posted in Delicious, Reddit, Ruby on Rails, Technology, Yahoo Pipes by engtech on January 28, 2008

Hacking RSS with Yahoo Pipes

Popular social bookmarking site Reddit has announced a great new feature: users can create their own sub-reddit. What does this mean in English? Users and communities can create their own social bookmarking sites around specific topics: blogging, wordpress, specific programming languages, etc but still use their regular reddit account for submitting links and voting.

You can see a full list of all the new reddits here, sorted by popularity. Of particular interest to me is the new Reddit created for Ruby/Rails related posts.

Of course, it’d be nice to be able to subscribe to a filtered version of these links. I’ve created a modified version of Dave S‘s “reddit popular on delicious” Yahoo Pipe that works with Sub-reddits.

  1. Click on the link
  2. Enter the name of the sub-reddit you’re interested in
  3. Enter the minimum number of saves on a delicious before a link is included in the feed
  4. Enter keyword inclusion/exclusion filters if you want to limit what you get
    • ie: include only rails-related posts or exclude all rails-related posts
  5. Click Run
  6. Click on the subscribe to RSS button

I’m using the Ruby sub-reddit as an example, but this is a great way to track links based around any topic there is a sub-reddit for. Even lolcats.

I’m looking forward to when this Reddit feature comes out of beta and it’s possible to create a few new sub-reddits like blogging, wordpress and lifehacks.

Related Posts

Blog Tip: Create a Link Post in 3 Seconds

Posted in Becoming a Better Blogger, Delicious, Technology, Yahoo Pipes by engtech on October 03, 2007

Bloggin Tips and Tricks

This is the successor to my post on how to build a weekly digest in 3 seconds.

One question I’m frequently asked is “how do you build those Best of Feeds weekly links?” The way I do it is pretty complicated, but I’ve found a much simpler solution that I want to share with you all. Building a list of links is something every blogger does at one time or another, and it doesn’t have to be hard.

Why Create a Link Post?

Link posts are great ways to share and acknowledge interesting links. Linking to other blogs is what makes the blogosphere tick. If you don’t routinely read and link to other bloggers then your using your blog as a one-way soapbox instead of as a medium for sparking communication and building relationships.

Link posts can be used for a variety of reasons:

  • Weekly Round-up
  • List of resources about a subject
  • List of group writing participants
  • List of contest participants

Here are some more tips from the experts on why create a link post

Step #1: Use Delicious to Save Links

I’m a delicious power user and it’s my favourite site for bookmarking interesting links. It integrates nicely with whatever web browser you are using.

This video explains how to use Delicious to bookmark sites

Delicious already comes with a way of posting a daily link report, but I don’t like it because I feel like I’m spamming my regular readers if my blog is filled with “links for 2007-10-02″ instead of stuff I wrote myself. I much prefer posting once a week, or having full control over when I post my list of links.

But the delicious tagging system is so useful for building a list of links around a specific subject, and for attaching short descriptions around each link. For instance, I used the ‘project3′ tag when I was picking out my favorite posts from the Project 3 group writing project on Daily Blog Tips.

Delicious also integrates nicely into your web browser, no matter what it might be.

Step #2: Use Delicious Link Builder

I’ve created a Yahoo Pipe that builds a list of your del.icio.us links that you can cut-and-paste into a blog post.

  1. Put in your delicious username
  2. Optional: Filter your links by a tag
  3. Optional: Filter your links by date
  4. Optional: Limit the number of links (maximum is 31, this is a limit from del.icio.us)
  5. Click ‘Run Pipe
  6. Cut-and-paste the results into a blog post using your WYSIWYG editor

Delicious Link Builder

The Results

This is an example of a list from my delicious saved bookmarks.

That’s all there is to it. Bookmark web pages with delicious, then go into Delicious Link Builder when you want to make a list of them.

You can start by bookmarking this post. :)

Advanced Users – Pretty Cut-n-Paste

I use a Greasemonkey script in Firefox to make the output of Yahoo Pipes a little bit nicer.

  1. How to Install Greasemonkey
  2. How to Install a Greasemonkey Script
  3. Install Yahoo Pipe Cleaner

Advanced Users – Clone Your Own Pipe

If you’re logged into Yahoo then you’ll have the option to ‘clone’ my Pipe (Delicious Links Builder). This means you have your own copy of it and you can change the default values for the fields to whatever you want, eg: always default to your username, and to 7 days worth of links.

Advanced Users – StumbleUpon

If you’re using delicious to save bookmarks, you can also use another handy Greasemonkey script I created that lets you save web pages to StumbleUpon at the same time you’re saving them to Delicious.

Related Links

There’s Plenty More

See the full list of free software I have created.

You can get frequent updates about all of my new software, tools or blog themes by subscribing to IDT Labs by RSS or by email. Or you could just subscribe to my main blog, Internet Duct Tape.

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This post was written as part of the Geeks Are Sexy Ultimate “How-To” contest.

Delicious Stumbles – Post to Delicious and StumbleUpon at the same time

Social Bookmarking and Social Voting

Delicious and StumbleUpon are two different social networks that let you save websites you like. Delicious Stumbles is a time saving tool for the Firefox web browser that will let you update your StumbleUpon account easily when you bookmark pages on delicious.

This video explains social bookmarking using delicious.

Yesterday Muhammad Saleem announced the Social Media extension for Firefox that lets you quickly browse how a site is saved between delicious/digg/reddit/stumbleupon. I’ve been hitting the same problem from another angle — how to quickly submit from one social bookmarking site to another.

I’m a hardcore delicious user. I use it to save everything. That’s how I build those “Best of Feeds” posts on Saturday. One problem with being a hardcore delicious user is that it means I’m not as active on other social networking sites. If I like something I save it to delicious and then get back to whatever I was doing.

I find delicious to be the quickest site for tagging and the easiest site for searching through pages I’ve bookmarked before. The problem is that I also wanted to submit my saved sites to StumbleUpon. As a blogger, StumbleUpon is a great source of traffic — not to mention a great way to find interesting sites to share and find people who have similar interests. Dosh Dosh has a great post on why StumbleUpon isn’t just a source of traffic — it’s a great tool for anyone. By crossposting the sites I find interesting to StumbleUpon as well as delicious I improve StumbleUpon’s ability to find pages I like.

Delicious Stumbles

With Delicious Stumbles I get all of the super-useful features I like about delicious (speed, recommended tags) but I also teach StumbleUpon more about what I like without having to spend all that time cutting-and-pasting between two accounts.

  • Submit a page you’ve saved to delicious to StumbleUpon using the same URL, title, tags and description
  • Use delicious’ super-quick tagging features instead of StumbleUpon’s really slow tagging
  • Stumble any of your existing bookmarks
  • Stumble a page while you’re saving it to delicious

How to Install

Delicious Stumbles works best with the “old” Delicious extension.

Show Me How It Works

Save a page how you normally would on delicious. But before you click Save, click on the Submit to Stumbleupon link.

delicious stumbles submit to stumbleupon from within the delicious extension

This will open up a new tab to submit on StumbleUpon with all of the information already prefilled.

delcious stumbles stumbleupon submission

You can even go back to any pages you have saved before on delicious and quickly stumble them.

delicious stumbles submit to stumbleupon from within the delicious extension

What Are You Waiting For?

If you use both delicious and StumbleUpon then this script can save you at least a minute every time you submit a site. How many sites do you submit a week? Install it now.

Related Posts

Be My Friend (on social network sites)

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand (or *gasp* you aren’t obsessed with Internet culture), then you’ve noticed that we’re seeing more and more web service startups over the past few years. Last year I flamed the Bubble 2.0 soundly in “Web Too.Many.” Earlier this year I tried to get an idea of what websites people actually use by starting the What’s Your Web 2.0? meme.I think I’m past breaking when it comes to my attention span and the number of services that I use. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some I heartily recommend. If you use some of these services as well, then please go ahead and “friend” me. And yes, there is a Facebook account in the list.

Active

Software Hosting

Autopilot

  • Twitter – sharing, republishing
  • Tumblr – aggregating my online presence
  • Jaiku – sharing, republishing

Deadpool

These are sites that I used to use often, but I’ve given up on:

  • MyBlogLog – too much spam
  • Flickr – it’s easier to share photos with friends on Facebook
  • RottenTomatoes – it’s easier to share movie reviews with friends on Facebook
  • Technorati – never indexes me properly
  • Blogcritics – got some books, but they aren’t a very good source of traffic
  • LinkedIn – until the next time I’m looking for work
  • … more than I can possibly remember.

What got me thinking about this is trying out Pownce for the first time and seeing how horrible it is at re-discovering my friends.

I just sent out some invites to Kevin Rose’s Pownce to my FeedBurner subscribers. (Thanks for hooking me up, Adam)

Pownce First Impression

I’ve seen other complaints that the biggest problem of Pownce is “what do I do with it?” It’s probably the most powerful web-based instant messaging client out there.

I was very surprised that they Pownce doesn’t have an “import contacts from address book” feature. That is rapidly becoming the only way to easily import the list of your friends from one web app to another. I was trying out Blue Swarm the other day and they are using a very slick widget from Plaxo that does easy address book imports. All web startups should use this, since email address contacts are the only universal data format for identifying your friends on the web.

This is a perfect example of why the Facebook application experience is so powerful… signing up and maintaining a user account is the major barrier that prevents most web startups from gaining a massive user base. “Social” web sites have an even bigger barrier in that you have to move or re-find your network. Facebook apps allow for any application to have the same user account and social network.

Obviously I think it would be pretty awesome if that Plaxo contact importer also supported Facebook as well as Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, and Yahoo.

What Others Have to Say

Scoble: “I see many of the same people in my friends list on Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook, and now Pownce. Pownce is growing faster than the other ones right now, though. 728 people have already added me on Pownce. I can’t take many more social networks.

Memoirs of a Bystander: “My question is this: Is there any value actually garnered from adding an obscenely large amount of random people as your friend on various social sites? Honestly, if a social networking site it meant to enhance you life through discovery of new interests, music, recommendations, etc…, is that easily done by wading through thousands of people?”

Mashable: “And it is this: on Pownce, you can send a message, or a file, or a song, or an event, to one person; or three of your friends; or only your family; or everyone.”

SocialHam: “Now more than ever Email seems to becoming a dead medium so can micro blogging sites fill in the gaps?”

JetPacked: “Can’t decide between pownce and twitter? This should help. Here’s how to post your pownces to twitter.”

Daily Grumble: “Social networking is a very difficult area for a new service to break into. How on earth are you going to persuade users of other, more established social networks to come to your service?”

Greg Verdino: “Are social media mavens living inside a bubble of our own making, artificially inflating the impact that most of these nascent technologies are having on the population in general, and ultimately getting our companies and our clients riled up over something that will, over time, turn out to be, well um, nothing?”

Greasemonkey script: increase size of del.icio.us save bookmark extension

Posted in Delicious, Firefox and Greasemonkey, Technology by engtech on December 29, 2006

This is a modified version of “del.icio.us maxim.us” that extends the text entry boxes (title, url, notes, tags) to 800×600 when bookmarking pages with the del.icio.us extension.

You will need Firefox, Greasemonkey and the official del.icio.us extension to use it.

Not sure what Greasemonkey is? Read the description from my wordpress.com category resizer.

See the full list of free software I have created.

You can get frequent updates about all of my new software, tools or blog themes by subscribing to IDT Labs by RSS or by email. Or you could just subscribe to my main blog, Internet Duct Tape.

Subscribe to feed

Comments Off

Problems with searching del.icio.us

Posted in Delicious, Technology by engtech on May 31, 2006

I’ve starting using del.icio.us to keep track of sites/articles that I might be interested in posting to this blog. Especially if I come across them while at work where I don’t have the time to do a post. I’d heard about del.icio.us quite some time back, but this us my first experience using it. I clearly see the advantage of being able to easily share bookmarks between work and home computer. Often I will come across something that looks interesting while at work, but not want to waste the time fully reading it (and as previously mentioned blogging is considered to be a career killer).

Theoretically I could use del.icio.us for a lot of what I’m doing with this blog, but although you can add notes and tags to webpages on del.icio.us, I much prefer writing a summary and posting a link. I think having a summary/synopsis adds more value than a list of dubious bookmarks.

In order to sift through my tags on del.icio.us I can change the URLs in the address bar (see more examples at http://del.icio.us/help/navigation)

That’s great for doing intersection searches of my bookmarks, but what about when I’m trying to exclude a tag? Let’s say I want to find something tagged “emacs” and “wiki” but not “posted” (as you can guess, I’m looking for a way to organize my list of del.icio.us bookmarks to exclude the ones I’ve posted to this blog).

del.icio.us does have another mechanism to search tags, as described here: http://blog.del.icio.us/blog/2005/11/find_the_url_of.html (further discussion at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ydn-delicious/message/216).

I’m going to have to use the del.icio.us search engine instead of URLs so that I can use their additional boolean search syntax.

That works nicely, except it doesn’t catch anything on my page! There doesn’t seem to be a specific way to tell the del.icio.us search engine to target a specific user (although natively it splits the results between your bookmarks and everyone else’s). There also seems to be a lag between when links are added and when they get indexed by the del.icio.us search.

So it looks like instead of having a tag called “posted” on bookmarks that I’ve posted on this blog, it’s easier to work with a tag called “notposted” and apply that to everything by default, then remove the tag from bookmarks that I have posted.

Unfortunately, del.icio.us seems to also be missing a “default tags” feature. So far I’m unimpressed.

Update: I found some 3rd party workarounds.

  • Lazy Sheep bookmarklet
    • This is a bookmarklet generator that will allow you to create a “post to del.icio.us” bookmarklet with a variety of options including setting default tags.
  • fil.tero.us
    • This is a 3rd party search tool that allows you to filter your tags based on AND/OR/NOT/XOR as well as keywords in the URL, description or notes. Exactly what I’m looking for, and I’m still surprised that del.icio.us doesn’t have this functionality built in.
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