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On any given day, I get around 100 weblinks in my Twitter account – either from people I follow or links I post myself. As you can imagine, that soon stacks up and that then presents a problem when I want to find a particular link I came across last week or last month. Finding it on Twitter itself is virtually impossible. You may as well search for that infamous needle in the haystack.

Enter the completely free Packrati.us to solve all our problems. All you need, apart from a Twitter account, is a Delicious account. Grant Packrati.us access to both accounts, and when you post a link or receive a link via @replies or Favorites on your Twitter account, it will instantly be sent to your Delicious account, all tagged up, where you will be able to find it later if need be. I tested it before writing this article and it works perfectly.


The first thing to make clear from the outset is that the app does not require any passwords. Both Twitter and Delicious (via Yahoo) will ask you if you want to grant access to the app, and you can revoke that access at any time. So all you security-conscious people out there can relax – no-one gets your account passwords. So go ahead and grant the access and then you will be taken back to the options screen.

Since there are a lot of options, I have split the screen up into three parts and we will go through them gradually.

These are fairly straight forward. The most important ones to make decisions about are Replace Existing Bookmarks (which I personally have unticked), whether you want the Twitter hashtags for that link to be turned into Delicious tags (you may not want this if you have a nice neat set of tags already) and whether you only want a certain set of Tweets indexed with a certain hashtag.

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The Bookmark my Favorites is also one to consider. Ticking this one will allow you to save all links you mark as your favorite. In the absence of Packrati.us saving ALL links from those you follow on Twitter, this is the next best thing.

OK, onto the second section :

This section mostly deals with tags. You can exclude tweets with certain hashtags, you can exclude tweets from certain websites, you can tell Packrati.us to remove certain tags before posting to Delicious and you can have a special Delicious tag added to all links sent by Packrati.us. All straight forward and easy to understand.

Moving swiftly along with the last section of the options screen :

Again, this part is fairly easy to set up.  This part allows Packrati.us to collect links sent to you by Twitter @replies. You can also choose whether these links get their own special Delicious tag(s).

As I said, the big downside about this app is that Packrati.us doesn’t collect ALL weblinks automatically from everyone you follow on Twitter. It can only be a link in a @reply or a link you mark as a favorite. In future versions of this app, maybe the developer can consider this extra feature? If you don’t want your Delicious account being flooded with links, you could always start a second account, purely for this.

So the only thing left to do is test it out. I found an interesting story on the BBC and decided to tweet about it.

As you can see, I added a hashtag which I wanted converted into a Delicious tag. I then looked right away at my Delicious account and there it was :

So as you can see, things work very quickly.

Why don’t you sign up for the service, try it out and then come back and let us know what you think? Or maybe you know of something better that does the same thing? If so, I would love to hear about it.

  1. Anonymous
    May 1, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Google Buzz works for me. Records all the links I thumbs up in reader and it displays all my tweets. It's a couple hours slow though. Ha.

  2. RJBailey2008
    April 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    This sounds pretty cool.

  3. Marc Mims
    April 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I'm the creator of Packrati.us. Thanks for the thorough review, Mark.

    Let me clarify a couple of points. You mention Packrati.us instantly posts bookmarks to Delicious. That's usually true of tweets you post and @ replies to you. There can be a short delay. Packrati.us uses Twitter's Streaming API, so we get new tweets usually in less than 1 second.

    However, we don't see Favorites that quickly. They aren't included in the Streaming API, yet. So, we poll for them, usually about every 10 minutes. Expect a delay of several minutes before Favorites show up in your Delicious bookmarks.

    You suggest setting up a 2nd account to avoid flooding your delicious account with bookmarks. Another option is to use an "only if" tag. Set it to "bm", for example, and only tweets with a #bm hashtag will be posted to Delicious.

    You are correct that no passwords are required and that you can revoke Packrati.us' access to Delicious or Twitter at any time. The correct way to stop Packrati.us from posting to Delicious is to simply delete your Packrati.us account. That immediately stops the service. Revoking access to Twitter doesn't stop Packrati.us from bookmarking tweets because we don't use users' credentials to access their tweets. Currently, we only use Twitter's sign in feature to authenticate the user when the account is created or when the user returns to modify preferences. So, delete the Packrati.us account first, then for added security, revoke access to Twitter and Delicious.

    I'm considering how to accommodate users who want to bookmark not just URLs in their own tweets and favorites, but in the statuses of accounts they follow, lists, etc. Stay tuned.

  4. Marc Mims
    April 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I'm the creator of Packrati.us. Thanks for the thorough review, Mark.

    Let me clarify a couple of points. You mention Packrati.us instantly posts bookmarks to Delicious. That's usually true of tweets you post and @ replies to you. There can be a short delay. Packrati.us uses Twitter's Streaming API, so we get new tweets usually in less than 1 second.

    However, we don't see Favorites that quickly. They aren't included in the Streaming API, yet. So, we poll for them, usually about every 10 minutes. Expect a delay of several minutes before Favorites show up in your Delicious bookmarks.

    You suggest setting up a 2nd account to avoid flooding your delicious account with bookmarks. Another option is to use an "only if" tag. Set it to "bm", for example, and only tweets with a #bm hashtag will be posted to Delicious.

    You are correct that no passwords are required and that you can revoke Packrati.us' access to Delicious or Twitter at any time. The correct way to stop Packrati.us from posting to Delicious is to simply delete your Packrati.us account. That immediately stops the service. Revoking access to Twitter doesn't stop Packrati.us from bookmarking tweets because we don't use users' credentials to access their tweets. Currently, we only use Twitter's sign in feature to authenticate the user when the account is created or when the user returns to modify preferences. So, delete the Packrati.us account first, then for added security, revoke access to Twitter and Delicious.

    I'm considering how to accommodate users who want to bookmark not just URLs in their own tweets and favorites, but in the statuses of accounts they follow, lists, etc. Stay tuned.

    • Mark O'Neill
      April 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      It would be good to have ALL links instantly posted to Delicious from everyone I follow. If you can introduce that, that would be great.

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