More thoughts on using WordPress for antisocial bookmarks

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Several weeks ago I mentioned that I had stopped using Diigo for saving and then posting digests of links into this blog. Long before that, I had stopped using delicious for that functionality and switched to Diigo.

The reasons I gave were:

  • I don’t really need my saved bookmarks available to the whole world. I just want them so I can aggregate them and post them to my blog on either WordPress or Drupal.
  • The tags used by delicious are not the categories or tags of WordPress or anything in a taxonomy in Drupal. My aggregate links should use the tags in my blogging system and not be something else belonging to the social bookmarking system.
  • I would feel more comfortable if I could save these links, or social bookmarks, myself. I suppose I’m really talking about antisocial bookmarks.

I’ll stay with this “antisocial bookmarks” idea and now flesh out what they would look like.

I’ve been manually creating the daily or twice daily link digests for a couple of weeks now and have zeroed in on what the content should be and what I should do with it. Let’s begin by looking at the link collection I put up yesterday:

Macintosh

Why Snow Leopard Is Truly Disruptive
Forbes.com / Brian Caulfield

“Here’s the breakthrough: Apple’s ( AAPL – news – people ) OS X, Snow Leopard, which goes on sale Friday, uses less code than its predecessor to do the same job. It’s a remarkable act of discipline that has broken a decades-long trend toward ever more bloated operating system software.”

Snow Leopard’s New Math
Macworld.com / Jason Snell

“There are, believe it or not, now two sets of entirely different terms for these two ways of thinking. For example, a gigabyte, or GB, is now defined as 1,000 bytes cubed, or 1,000,000,000 bytes. A gibibyte, or GiB, is equal to 1024 bytes cubed, or 1,073,741,824 bytes. (The same rules apply for megabyte and mebibyte, which are defined as 1000 bytes squared and 1,024 bytes squared, respectively.)

Wake up, you in back! Because here’s where Snow Leopard comes in. In previous versions of Mac OS X, Apple used the 1024^3 definition of GB. Rather than keep that math and start calling it GiB, Apple has started using the 1000^3 definition.”

Music

Bob Dylan to voice GPS? Who do you want directing your drive?
ZDNet

Bob Dylan

Sign me up. Today. I have my Garmin nuvi set now to use an English woman’s voice, just so I can be driving around American “roundabouts.”

“Bob Dylan is in talks with two car manufactures to be the voice of their in-car navigation systems. The jokes are too easy with Dylan’s song titles and lyrics providing an adequate amount of “direction-”, and “road-related” themes, but would anyone seriously want to have Dylan grumble directions over an in-car GPS?”

Each bookmark has the following content elements, some optional:

  • Primary WordPress category for bookmark [required]
  • WordPress tags for the bookmark [optional]
  • Source type: article, blog entry, website, slideshow, … [required]
  • Title [required]
  • Excerpt from the bookmarked content of arbitrary length [optional, though strongly recommended if available]
  • User comment [optional, but especially highly recommended if the excerpt is omitted]
  • Site name of bookmark source [optional, examples are “CNet”, “NY Times”, etc.]
  • Author’s name of bookmark source [optional, but strongly recommended if available]
  • Image [optional]

I can imagine this information either being collected in an AJAXy window the way Diigo or delicious do it, or a more manual process within the WordPress administrative panels. Remember that a very important aspect of this is that the categories and tags from your blog that are being used, not those of an external bookmark collection service.

Each element above would be tagged with CSS classes to allow customization of the display in a particular blog.

Configuration of the service within the WordPress configuration panels would allow specification of

  • Frequency of when digests are published and the labels for the digests. I’ve been using “Daily Links,” “Daily Links, Morning Edition,” and so on.
  • Ability to publish out-of-cycle special digests with custom titles
  • The ordering of the bookmark elements in the display, as well as indicating whether optional elements should be shown.
  • Width and position of the image though this could be handled by CSS.

If I were to build this I would probably start by modifying Alex King’s most excellent Twitter Tools plugin for WordPress. He already has the logic in there for handling a MySQL table within the WordPress database and creation of digests.

My next step in my iterative approximation of what I want to see is to create some CSS for the digests rather than use explicit font changes and image placements.

This all could be done in Drupal using modules and taxonomies. I’ll leave the translation to Drupalese to the reader.


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