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Dave’s Roundup at the OPML Corral: Share Yours

Dave‘s got an interesting round-up at the OPML corral, “Share your OMPL”.. Yikes, another acronym! If you dig a bit deeper it comes up as Outline Processer Markup Language , now that is much more clear! Huh?

Think of of it as a way to use XML to represent outline forms of content, which if you are like me, rushes back memories of tedious grade school grammar exercises on proper formats for outlines, roman numerals and such nonsense.

But there is a very strong tie to our other favorite acronym, RSS. Software can use the OPML format to represent a collection of RSS feeds. Most of the more decent RSS aggregator software programs allow you to export and import your collections of RSS sites as an OPML file. For example, I use NetNewsWire to store my regularly read feeds at:
http://cogdogblog.com/alan/cdb.opml

It makes it easy to transport my feed list say between home and work computers, or to share them with a colleague.

And that is where Dave’s experiment is hitting a cool chord. At the “Share your OMPL”. site there are more than 140 different sets of OPML files contributed. As a larger aggregate of what people are reading in their RSS tools, there are some interesting slices of looking at the world of feeds. There is popularity, the top 100 feeds. You can use other people’s feeds to see who a particular person has on their roll. And very very cool, you can use the site to find among those listed who has a subscription to a specific RSS feed URL….

Okay, it appeals to vanity. I was able to find a grand total of…… 3 people who have listed subscriptions to my own blog . Thank you Francois, David, and Scott (none of whom I know or have ever visited their blogs).

Basically you are aggregating data on what other people are aggregating, and if more people contribute their collections it will get more interesting. I had a slightly parallel idea a few months back that was never pursued, but let’s say you could search and rummage through all the feeds here, click some check boxes, and then have a dynamically produced new OPML generated that I could save and use.

Feeds of feeds…. hmmmm, it makes the head spin.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.