Making Technorati and del.icio.us Tags Easy and Automatic
|If you are new to the art of doing your own blog as I am, I thought I'd share something that might be of interest. You have probably become familiar with two blog related sites – Technorati and del.icio.us. Both are essentially services for blog readers to find articles and information they are interested in, and for blog writers to get exposure for their content. Both are based on the use of “tags”, which are like keywords to identify the topics that a post relates to. |
The blogger assigns tags to posts when they are published on the blog, and Technorati and del.icio.us then track these articles by those tags for readers to search. The rub for me was the time involved in “tagging” each article for both sites, and then doing the tasks needed to get both services to pick up the new tags and articles.
I thought that there must be an easier way to do this, and started searching. As a new Blogger, I am starting out by hosting my Blog on Blogger.com, as it is free and easy to use, so I was looking for solutions that would work with this host. First I found something called Greasemonkey. Here's the description from it's website:
Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension which lets you to add bits of DHTML ("user scripts") to any web page to change its behavior. In much the same way that user CSS lets you take control of a web page's style, user scripts let you easily control any aspect of a web page's design or interaction.
If that sounds too technical for you, it means it is an “add-in” for the Firefox web browser, that allows you to customize and automate tasks through the use of programming or “scripts”. That sounded promising, but not being one to re-invent the wheel, I wondered if there were scripts already out there related to Technorati and del.icio.us. After some more cyber sleuthing, I found quite a few, but all seemed short of the mark, either doing things for one site, but not the other, or not doing them well.
After some frustration from trial and error, I finally found one that seems to do a pretty good job. To make it work, you need to sign up with Technorati and del.icio.us, install Greasemonkey, go to a ping service called Pingoat and set up your blog to send update pings when commanded, and install a user script from a blog called ecmanaut.
The result is an almost complete automation of tagging processes. Before posting your article, you fill in the tags you want to associate with it. Then you post as you normally would. Then you use the new option you will see for del.icio.us to save those tags to your account (you must already be logged in to del.icio.us at the time for this to work). That's it. The tags are usable by Technorati as well.
Hope this is helpful to my fellow Blogger neophytes.