Now you can make your own OPML files…at last I can make a selection from a sub-section of all my feeds in my Bloglines account.
You have a choice of the contents in your outline as being normal URL’s or feed URLS’s.
I made an OPML for my 25 favourite blogs (although I might need to add some more favourites of late)…check out my sidebar under the Blogroll section.
(also able to save locally)
My outline features the RSS address of each blog, not the link address…but an outline to launch to the actual sites would be a good replacement for a blogroll…especially if you could export your outline to your blog sidebar.
The reason the outline of my blogroll includes all the RSS URL’s and not the normal URL’s, is so the OPML file can be imported into an RSS reader.
If you do view it as an outline you can copy n’ paste any feed you like from the list to an RSS reader.
If this OPML blogroll included just normal links that launch you to the homepage of each site, then you wouldn’t be able to import this into an RSS reader…all you could do with this is look at it as an outline (a categorised bunch of links) or import the file for editing.
Since my blog has an RSS feed for each category, I could have made an OPML file where each link is a category feed…with this outline you could import the RSS feed of each category of my blog into your RSS reader in one go, or simply, from the outline, choose which category feed you would like to cut n’ paste manually into your RSS reader.
This is great now I can start making OPML files (containing RSS feeds) according to topics and pass around these little packets, these are different to a re-mixed topic RSS feed (spliced feed) as they are not merged into one feed, it is simply a batch importing file of all the feeds contained in the OPML file (better than manually subscribing to each feed one by one), and of course the beauty of it is that you are passing around reading lists.
So you can enter the OPML file into OPML search engine, browser, or editor to view it or view the the outline version of the OPML.
So there are 4 versions here:
- There is the OPML file itself (which can be a URL)
- There is the outline (which is a URL)
- OPML search version of the OPML file URL (hyperlinked view at OPML surfer or normal outline view at OPML search)…these search engines are great because if you want to view the outlines but don’t have the outline URL - you may only have the OPML file URL - then you can enter the OPML file URL in an OPML search engine and it will render an outline for you…there is also Taskable (OPML Browser)
- Import the OPML file into an RSS reader (simply used as a batch loading tool)
At the moment if I delete a feed (item) in my OPML file, it won’t reflect on the people who have already loaded it into their RSS readers (it doesn’t dynamically delete that feed from their RSS reader or add a feed if I later add one to the OPML file - that is they are not synched). This will happen soon as we will be able to subscribe to a feed of an OPML file itself (check out my post)
This way people won’t always have to wonder if they have the current version of a reading list, as it will dynamically change as the master OPML file changes.
From an email sent to me by the developer of OPML manager:
“…there is some kind of opml-messenger in Dave’s opml-editor where you can add a url of a opml-file to the buddylist, and it will update whenever something changes in the opml-file.”
[ADDED 3/10/05: From John Udell’s post:
“If you are subscribed to the file in the OPML Editor, you’ll be alerted when I make changes. And either of us can link (aka include, aka transclude) that file into another OPML file to create a composite outline that pulls from different sources but behaves as a single entity. “
…also check out FeedDemon for synching developments.
OPML Manager lacks a drag and drop feature or at least a selection box sorting feature…reason I say this is that I listed 25 feeds under the main outline folder, then I thought I’ll group these 25 feeds into 3 sub-folders, but I couldn’t, as there is no function to select and move items.
Also there is no way to batch delete these 25 feeds under my main outline heading, you can only delete a sub-folder with all the items in it.
Another tool is OPML editor, I haven’t used this so I don’t know its feature set, but I like OPML manager as it is web-based. The only thing so far that is limiting is that to make a new outline I have to create a whole new account, I’d like to have as many outlines as I like within the same account, and even have an outline index page…I suppose this would look a little like the user list, but instead it would be my list of outlines I have made, and maybe an OPML for the whole lot.
Also I can’t delete an account.
There is a forum to discuss features
Looks like if I want a more robust tool I’ll need to use OPML editor.
OPML Generator (make an OPML file to save locally or as a URL, doesn’t provide an outline view)
Make a TagCloud from an OPML file
…more at OPML Resources
…and of course the long awaited Rollr.
(I think these blog entries are written with the OPML editor, I don’t quite know what that means yet…anyhow the content is mostly about OPML)
OPML Newbies (Forum)
So check out this blog called The Compass.
Notice it has an OPML logo, click on this to see the OPML file.
To see the outline you can enter this file into OPML Surfer, there you have it.
I’m still not sure what this means, it seems to be an outline of the blog, how do you create this?
Also, what do you do with it, it seems to be a stripped down index version of a blog?
…all you see are links to posts that are organised in categories (an outline, even a table of contents)…this is pretty cool, you can pass around a file that contains a hyperlinked organised index of your blog.
So it must be that new blog entries appear in this OPML file as they happen, so if someone was able to export someone elses outline of an OPML file into their blog sidebar, whenever that person would make a new post it would automatically appear in the sidebar OPML version under a specified category.
Or if you viewed the OPML file in a OPML search engine like OPML surfer, whenever someone makes a new blog post, you will see it appear in the outline in OPML surfer.
So with OPML files you can:
- share/view/discover/manipulate an outline of anything (links, feeds, text)
- in the future, make synched OPML (containing RSS feeds) reading lists (but you would subscibe to the RSS of the OPML file instead of batch loading each feed, although, it looks like you have batch loading each feed, but you don’t have any control over their existence (they can appear or disappear) as they are only virtually there as you are only using them as a 3rd party.
- make an OPML file of your blog (this is an indexed hyperlinked outline of your blog organised by blog categories…when you make a new post, a new hyperlink to that post will appear in the corresponding category in the outline)…this is a portable snap shot of your blog.
Importing this into a sidebar augments this feature even more.
You can even generate an OPML of search results from OPML search, so you can share a portable search result list.
Prior to this you could only share a search result list by using cut n’ paste or pointing to the permalink.
But cut n’ pasting has formatting limits, and some search engine needs a login so pointing someone to the results link is pointless if they don’t have access (also some search results are dynamic so they don’t even have unique URL’s).
So I guess a way around this is an OPML file for search results…view these in an outline, edit it, share it.
I did a search for the term folksonomy in OPMLsearch, clicked on the OPML search results icon, imported this into OPMLmanager, and there you have it an outline of search results.
I like this outline for someone’s notes, I wonder if you could export a powerpoint outline or word outline as an OPML file…you could import this into OPMLmanager and give a presentation from your outline view, and even give this outline URL to your audience to view later, or give them the OPML file so they can view a rendered outline in OPML surfer.
Any other suggestions on how to use OPML?
What about a folksonomy to discover and share OPML’s?
…is this what Rollr is up to?
Obviously you can speculate a folksonomy to share these types of OPML reading lists
…even a folksonomy to share regular OPML files (that contain text or normal hyperlinks, and not RSS feeds), like check out this outline for a school syllabus, (or this view) or check out this outline for DDC (or this view)…so not only discovering and sharing them by tags, but also being able to actually view the OPML file as an outline in the folksonomy as well.
OPML search has started this by being able to search for an OPML file by category (what about user tags), I think this will be the next thing, and you won’t just be able to search them, you will also browse the serendipity way in a folksonomy.
Sharing lists is the new thing (started with del.icio.us sharing links, now people want to share a list of links)…I guess del.icio.us is a list at the tag level, but then what about tags within these tags to organise your list, it just doesn’t work. So what about a tag bundle this is a list with items organised in tags (only thing is there is no hierarchy if that’s what you are after), but this isn’t possible anyway as your tag bundle hasn’t got a permalink to share, although Raw Sugar does….but then you are sacrificing all these tags to make a one off list…ohh I can’t put this item in that tag even though it belongs there because I don’t want it to be part of my list.
The idea is to make a list and label it with tags, whereas using del.icio.us would be a crappy hack as you are using tags as the infrastructure of your list instead of using tags to describe your list.
So what’s next, MemeFlow is just a list, JetEye is just a list, but at least these 2 are more disposable than using del.icio.us, if you don’t want your list anymore just delete it - just the content in that list is deleted and nothing else. Then there is Wink which is even better because you can have sub-headings, ie. tags within your list (no hierarchy), and then their is H2O playlist, which I haven’t played with yet, but this seems to be a great way to present a list.
I think OPML outlines are equally as good as these, if not better, as your list can have sub-levels, even as a hierarchy…and anyone can manipulate a list, they are just so portable and concise and very web2.0 (I’m starting to get sick of this term, but it seemed to fit).
[ADDED: Using OPML 101 - Screencast]
[ADDED 3/11/05: Active Renderer…webOutliner
From the website:
“I can prepare a post using a full featured browser based outliner, then press the ‘post to weblog’ icon to publish it into this weblog.”]
[ADDED 16/11/05: Blauer Bote OPML Reader]
[ADDED 16/11/05: Olive Outline Reader]
[ADDED 16/11/05: OPML! RSS! ATOM! and more]
[ADDED 16/11/05: OPML Browser]