Synchronise Delicious and WordPress: plugins

When I started this blog, one of big talk was about blogroll, the list of links generally displayed in the blog sidebar. Until now, I totally neglected this list.

Today, the blogroll is not really THE topic, and I don’t know if this list is still really important or not. I decided however to work on this subject, in order to have a clean blogroll, reflecting my current interests and activity.

I currently store my bookmarks in the tool Delicious, that is, for me, very efficient. The main objective of this post and the followings, is to see how to synchronize the linkroll of Delicious and the blogroll of WordPress.
I previously wrote somethings on this subject, suggesting some plugins, but I stopped to work on it, immediately after. So I prefer to restart the study from the beginning.

I will start, as in the previous post, with studying what is already exist, which means the available plugins. I will then study the tools are proposed by Delicious to developpers.

My objectives

Today all my bookmarks are stored in Delicious. I like this tools: it’s simple an efficient, but I have two problems with it:

  • I never make backup,
  • How to display the Delicious bookmarks in my WordPress blog, with the same flexibility than the local blogroll?

To give answer to these two points, the idea is to synchronize the two databases of links, the Delicious database with the WordPress one. On the one hand, this will give me a « local » backup of my Delicious database, on the other hand, I will be able to display links, as I want, with the standards tools and functions of WordPress.

I am interested also by some other functions, such as:

  • Automatically record my posts in Delicious,
  • Display « network badges » of Delicious in my blog.

The first point would allow me to known how many people save my posts in Delicious. It’s a way more or less efficient to get the popularity of my posts. I say « more or less » efficient, because Delicious is not the only tool used as a bookmarker. A lot of people also use RSS reader for that. So what mean exactly the popularity in Delicious?

The second point is more « cosmetic », and show my social side (in term of Web 2.0 of course).

First approach: try to use plugins

Before to use any tool box, I am trying to see if I can find THE plugin, the one that are give us all what we need. As explained at the beginning of the post, I already spoke on the subject so, in this one, I will just make a short summary of what I found.

A quick search in the WordPress plugin repository gives us a too small list of plugins.

[Parenthesis], I think that the search tool of the WordPress repository is totally unefficient. It’s quicker and more useful to use Google.[/Parenthesis].

The following table summarizes the main functions of plugins:

Delicious Cached Delicious for WordPress Delicious Plus Postalicious
Import
RSS x x x x
Filtering Tags Tags
Multi-widgets x
Blog posting x

Some comments:

  • Import means importing the links of Delicious into the database of WordPress,
  • RSS means that plugin can read the RSS feeds from Delicious. These feeds contains the last updates in the Delicious database,
  • Blog posting allows to automatically publish a post with the last updates of Delicious links.

First review: none plugin offers to synchronize the database of the two tools. All the plugins use the RSS feeds for direct display. Some of them allow to filter these feeds, and manage « cache ».

I also found two scripts:

  • WordPress Del.icio.us Syncer is a PERL script with the same functionalities than Postalicious,
  • Taga use also the RSS feeds to automatically publish posts.
  • Other tools

    The solution based on plugins doesn’t seem to be interesting.
    Could we use another tools, or a manual method such as Export/Import?

    What do we have in both sides?

    • Delicious allows to easily export the links, but the format isn’t really interesting for us (liste of links in HTML format),
    • WordPress has a function to import links from a file in OPML format (Outline Processor Markup Language).

    Nothing compliant in fact…

    There are some scripts to convert the links from Delicious and store them in an OPML file, but this method is not very user-friendly, and not integrated in WordPress.

    Conclusion

    Tools are not too many, and they don’t reach our objectives. Nevertherless, if we have to choose one, I keep Delicious for WordPress. First, it allows to filter links, and then it allows to display several widgets, with different parameters, that give us some flexibility.

    About post publishing, the choice is easy because we have just one plugin: Postalicious.

    Our objectives are not reached. So I will continue my study, by looking at the tools available in Delicious for developers.