March 9, 2006
Search via a URL means this:
Search the full-text from a list of webpages via a URL they are listed on
eg. a user or general del.icio.us tag is a URL with a list of webpages…so the idea is to put the URL of the del.icio.us tag into the search engine, and it will search the full-text of every bookmark in that tag.
Now imagine this when OPML URL’s are thrown into the equation.
I could make an OPML with items such as text, HTML links, and RSS feeds…then I could enter this OPML URL into the search engine to search the full-text of the text in the actual outline, the full-text of the HTML links (webpages) in the outline, and the full-text of the RSS feeds in the outline (although it is better to search the HTML of the homepage as some RSS feeds are only excerpts and not full-text).
Now imagine if this OPML URL (Outline) also has other OPML URL’s as items…now you could also have an option to search everything in your outline plus the outlines of your OPML inclusions.
What I mean by this is to say to the search engine, search the full-text of the items in my outline (OPML URL), and if my outline has an OPML inclusion/s include or don’t include that in the search.
These OPML inclusions in your outline may have OPML inclusions of their own, and so on…you could say to the search engine, search the full-text of the items in my outline (OPML URL) and search all the OPML inclusions, plus all their inclusions
…or more basically put, please search the full-text of my OPML Directory.
What if we took a heap of OPML Directories and made one massive root OPML Directory…then we could search a directory of directories.
Just say I create an OPML URL, and have 2 OPML inclusions (inclusion A and inclusion B), then I click on inclusion A (this could be one of my other OPML’s or someone’s elses OPML URL that I’m pointing to).
So, just say it is someone elses OPML URL, this OPML URL may have an OPML inclusion that is the same as inclusion B on my OPML URL.
So, when we make an OPML URL, and point to other OPML URL’s, which point to other OPML URL’s, and so on, we are bound to come across the same OPML URL’s in our travels within our personal OPML Directories…so it acts like a directory that doesn’t have a strict taxonomy structure (it is allowed to have multiple occurences of an OPML) and multiple occurences of items with these OPML’s.
By an OPML Directory I mean that every item in your OPML URL is basically an OPML inclusion
…now if an OPML inclusion in your OPML Directory happens to be the type of OPML being used as an OPML Directory as well, then we are starting to see an intentional Directory of Directories.
We could think of it as a tree, with a root OPML, and branch OPML’s, then imagine a forest of trees.
This is starting to feel like the infiniteness of the mandelbrot set
…one of person A’s branch OPML’s could be pointing to one of person B’s branch OPML’s, or it could be pointing to person B’s root OPML, etc…
…person B’s branch OPML could within it be pointing (via an OPML inclusion) to person A’s branch OPML
It very much is a web that is created from the tree branches in the forest.
Check out this awesome analysis of the collective bookmarking mind, and how a list of aggregated tags from multiple people describes really well the aboutness of the bookmark, moreso than when compared to a single user describing a bookmark.
It seems to work on an exponential basis, the more users bookmarking and tagging the item, the more we can tell exactly what that bookmark is about…and it’s not just by the tag names, it’s reading the tag names in a particular order.
James Corbett has looked at the data we can all see but decided on a perspective that enlightens the success of collective descriptions.
When you are at del.icio.us and click on ” and 77 other people” part of a bookmark, you will see all the users who saved that bookmark along with the tags, on the sidebar you will see the common tags…these are a list of tags used for this bookmark by 2 people or more.
James perfectly describes that when you view the common tags from a del.icio.us bookmark, you can read the tags from the bottom up, and it will describe quite well the aboutness of the bookmark, here is how he puts it:
“…Doane Paper. 109 other people had tagged it (25 recently) so I clicked through on its URL information page. And the Common Tags were -
[…] I decided to […] see what sense I could make of it by starting at the bottom and working upwards. Remember a hierarchy starts at the top and works down because it needs to go from broad/general to specific. The English language on the other hand tends to go from specific to general (eg. jolly fat man, dull red car). So here was my first effort -
cool download [for] writing journal(s) [on] moleskine [in] grid [or] graph [format] [for] creativity [in] business design […] So, I then clicked through on the link for Doane Paper, and wow! The definition was almost exactly as predicted by the army of tagging ants. The pheromones secreted by the taggers had left behind a hierarchical trail to the definition. The semiochemicals have generated a miniature semantic web.
No one has explicity posted to del.icio.us the specific definition for Doane Paper in the sentence above but the army of tagging ants have generated it with their collective intelligence.”
This is moving a hundred miles an hour…the other day I was talking about making Link Lists from my del.icio.us account into OPML, I was lamenting that each del.icio.us tag didn’t have an OPML URL.
Why I want to do this is to be able to pass around selections of my del.icio.us archive, or have an outline view, and even showcase them on the sidebar of my blog.
Now I can make Link Lists from del.icio.us…at the moment you can only make a list for a user name, but soon you will be able to choose a user level tag, tag bundles, and tag combinations.
Step 1. Enter your username and password
Step 2. This will take a while to convert if you have a large del.icio.us account
Step 3. You will get a blank screen, but View>Source and paste the code into OPML Workstation, and save it…now your OPML has a URL.
What I did was just took a sample, I highlighted a bunch of bookmarks and pasted that into OPML Workstation, but also remembering to include the:
</opml> tags at the end.
With RSS you can re-syndicate the latest bookmarks, del.icio.us has the linkroll tool built in…but now you can showcase your whole archive with the power of OPML.
Here is my raw OPML.
Here is the outline.
Here it is in Optimal (OPML Browser/RSS Reader)
Here it is in Bitty (OPML Browser/RSS Reader for your blog sidebar)
I wonder if Adam Green could hack this further to annotate each bookmark with the tags assigned.
Where’s the dynamics?
Now this is fine but the problem will never be totally resolved fully till del.icio.us have inbuilt OPML URL’s…why?
If I bookmark a new document in my del.icio.us it won’t appear in the OPML I just made above because I made that OPML at OPML Workstation…the new bookmark will only appear if I add it as an item to my OPML Workstation outline…so you see this is doubling up.
The ultimate is to grab some inbuilt OPML user level tags from del.icio.us (one day hopefully), and add these OPML URL’s as items in an outline I create at OPML Workstation…this way I’m using the OPML at OPML Workstation as the root OPML, which I can include other OPML’s as items…kind of like a directory made up of heaps of OPML URL’s.