Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weekly Widget: Custom Delicous Feeds is an invaluable tool for bloggers. Not only does it create bookmarks that are accessible no matter what browser or computer you happen to be using, but you can also use it to create post categories for your blog, maintain an idea file, and more. Especially useful is that Delicious allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed of any of your tags. This allows you to create custom feeds for your sidebars of articles, posts, etc. on a specific topic or of a specific type, like the "Giveaways" feed on Baby Cheapskate:

The "reading list" feeds on both Baby Cheapskate and on BlogCoach are also pulled from Delicious bookmarks.

Here's how to create your custom feed and place it on your blog:

  • Sign up at if you haven't already. If you have a personal account, I recommend opening one specifically for your blog so that your private bookmarks are kept separate from your "business" bookmarks.
  • When you find something you'd like to share in your feed, simply save the page as a bookmark, using a tag that you've chosen for that purpose. When I navigate to a giveaway I want to feature on Baby Cheapskate, for example, I press "command + d" to bring up the Delicious window (I'm on a Mac) and save the page as a bookmark with the tag, "bcgiveaway".
  • Create your feed at Click on the tag you've been using to collect your sites ("bcgiveaway", for example). You'll see an RSS icon at the bottom of the page. Copy the feed address. It will look something like this:

You can alter the number after count= to change how many items are shown on your sidebar.
  • Now you'll decide whether you want to use your blog's reader or a third party reader to display your feed on your blog. If you use Blogger, for example, you'll just "add a gadget," select "feed" and paste in the address.
  • For BlogCoach's Reading List, I use Google Reader's feed widget. It's the green box in the middle column. If you like this option, you'll need to subscribe to your own feed in Google Reader, share it, go to manage your subscriptions, click on "folders and tags" and select "add a clip to your site." You can customize the color and a few other options at that point. There are several other third-party readers out there. I choose Google's because I thought it's style looked best on BlogCoach.
How do you use RSS feeds on your blog?