One of the most interesting tidbits in recent write-ups of Yahoo’s supposed plan to “sunset” Delicious was a sidebar on Marshall Kirkpatrick’s piece in ReadWriteWeb, which detailed a great way to use Delicious to find new content to share or write about before your competition does:
How ReadWriteWeb Used Delicious
For the past several years, ReadWriteWeb has been using Delicious in a way that I think points to the potential the service truly had. Here’s what we did.
- We had a researcher grab URLs for companies and products that ReadWriteWeb had written about already and look them up in Delicious to see who had bookmarked those same links first.
- Then we scrolled back through the bookmarking history for each link to find the first 20 people who tagged the URL in question.
- We then grabbed the usernames of those 20 people and pasted them into a spreadsheet.
- We repeated that process more than 300 times.
- Then we sorted the names in the spreadsheet and identified 15 people who on five or more occasions were among the first 20 people to bookmark a link that ReadWriteWeb later wrote about.
- Then we subscribed to the RSS feeds of all those peoples’ bookmarks in the future. We regularly find things that way before our competitors do.
That’s a great technique that could probably be automated in a content management system, giving writers and editors a regularly-optimized feed of items to prompt story ideas that would be organically built around the topics they write about. Thanks for the great tip, RWW!