Delicious is a free social bookmarking service that can be useful to public broadcasting outlets covering the H1N1 influenza pandemic.
Four ways you can use Delicious in your H1N1 coverage:
1. Use Delicious to find interesting articles and links about H1N1 in your community.
2. Internally share bookmarks among your content staff to encourage collaborative reporting efforts.
3. Display flu related bookmarks from your Delicious account on your H1N1 landing page.
4. Use Delicious to create an H1N1 RSS feed for your coverage.
What is Delicious?
Think of Delicious as an online version of the “favorites” list you keep in your web browser. It allows you to bookmark and organize any website or news article you find on the internet. The difference is that with Delicious, you can retrieve those bookmarks from any computer and share and trade bookmarks with other users.
Here is a video guide produced by Common Craft explaining Delicious and social bookmarking:
In Delicious, you use “tags” to organize your bookmarks. Each bookmark can have multiple tags associated with it. For example, if you were to bookmark this page, the following tags might be among the ones you use:
When you go back to your Delicious account to find a bookmark you have saved, you can browse by date, or explore bookmarks by tag.
You can also browse articles saved by all Delicious users and use tags to focus your search. For example, here’s what Delicious users are bookmarking about the topic of H1N1. Add additional tags to get more specific. Here’s bookmarks tagged “H1N1″ AND “pregnancy”. You’ll see that each item displays the number of people who have saved the article — giving you a sense of its popularity. You can also browse the bookmarks of a specific user. View FluPortal’s bookmarks related to the H1N1 vaccine. Here’s an example of what you’ll see when browsing saved bookmarks:
In an editorial setting, Delicious can be a great research tool. You can have a number of reporters saving bookmarks to a shared Delicious account and crowd source research on topics like the pandemic flu. You can also take your bookmarks, (or create a subset of them using tags) and post them on your station’s website as an additional information resource for your audience.
RSS Feeds and Widgets
Another feature that makes Delicious so useful is that it automatically generates an RSS feed of the bookmars saved on each user account. It also generates separate RSS feeds for every tag you use to categorize your saved items. For example, there is an RSS feed of all bookmarks saved by the FluPortal team, as well as an RSS feed for bookmarks associated with each tag we use. Here’s the RSS feed for bookmarks saved by FluPortal and tagged with “vaccine”.
This allows your station to use Delicious to create an H1N1 RSS feed to your audience, even if your website content management system (CMS) does not generate topic based RSS feeds.
To do this, simply bookmark all your station’s reports related to H1N1 and associate a specific tag – one that won’t be used mistakenly for unrelated articles (try “h1n1rss” for example). Once you have a few stories bookmarked, go to your Delicious hompage and browse the page that displays your stories tagged h1n1rss. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see an RSS icon like this: . Save the link address for that icon and there you have it: an RSS feed of your content that will be updated with each new bookmark you add.
Delicious RSS feeds pass the following information:
<title> The title of the article you bookmarked
<pubdate> The date you saved the article (not its publication date)
<link> The url address of the article you bookmarked
<description> Any notes you add for each bookmark
<category> The tags you associate with the bookmark
Now that you have your H1N1 content in RSS form, you can get creative in how to use it.
- Import the feed into Yahoo Pipes and blend it with NPR the H1N1 RSS feed to generate a local/national to use by RSS feed and/or widget. Read more in the FluPortal guide to Yahoo Pipes
- Run your RSS feed through Feedburner to add management features and track the number of subscribers.
Delicious also offers two kinds of embeddable widgets you can use on your station website. The first, called “linkrolls”, displays the latest bookmarks from your Delicious account. Like the RSS feeds, you can choose either from your entire list of bookmarks or drill down by specific tags. This is another quick way to get your station’s H1N1 coverage onto your stations front page. The second type of widget is called a “tagroll“. Tagrolls display a word-cloud made from the tags you have used. The tags that you use most often will display in a larger font size than the other words.