Briefly we were lamenting the fact that services don’t subscribe to OPML, they rather just import an OPML to make a clone OPML…as Matt says, we need these services to subscribe to OPML, just like they subscribe to RSS.
Anyway the idea is that when we add/delete a feed from our RSS Reader subscriptions this also reflects where ever elsewhere our OPML lives…and as Matt says this can only be done if services subscribe to OPML instead of just uploading a clone that you can further edit.
Case - User Reading List
Another way is using Share Your OPML…but as we have discussed in the previous post, changes to our OPML in our RSS Reader will not reflect automatically with the instance of it in SYO.
Another way is importing your OPML into a Public RSS Reader like Feed Collectors, Feedbite, BB:Library, Kinja, MySyndicaat, Blogdigger Groups, Technorati Favourites, etc…
I commend these Public RSS Readers in allowing us to add lots of feeds that will create an OPML, but again this has the same issues of not reflecting changes.
NOTE: This method not only allows you to make a public version of your RSS Reader, but others can use your OPML to make one for themselves. Once they have made their own they can delete and add feeds making this OPML truly a different version than the original.
Since most RSS Readers don’t have a public version, these types of services (Public RSS Readers) allow people to see and read the content of your subscriptions…if they (Public RSS Readers) choose to subscribe to your OPML (instead of just importing a clone), then these services could be a replica of your personal RSS Reader…whenever you add/delete a feed it will be reflected.
The bonus is that some of these Public RSS Readers have a social side, this makes it a place for people to share and discover Reading Lists eg. Feed Collectors, Feedbite, BB:Library and Kinja.
NOTE: BlogBridge adds another perspective, where you can subscribe to an OPML Reading List within your own Personal RSS Reader (both create and use/subscribe OPML).
Case - Topic Reading List
When creating a Topic Reading List, you may have to start from scratch, you may be creating it for a friend, and only a few of these feeds destined for this list are in your personal RSS Reader.
In fact it could be about subject matter that doesn’t interest you, in this case none of the feeds will be in your RSS Reader.
One option is to use an outliner like OPML Workstation or iJot, then your friend can subscribe to this topic OPML Reading List in BlogBridge (personal RSS Reader).
If your friend wants to show other people the contents of the Reading List they can import this topic OPML into a Public RSS Reader, this creates a clone OPML.
In the future if I find another relevant feed for my friends Topic OPML, I’ll have to give it to my friend to add to the Public RSS Reader….because if I add it to the OPML I made in the outliner it won’t automatically reflect this addition in my friends clone OPML (It doesn’t automatically happen, they have to manually do it themselves).
This is losing out on the potential of OPML…it isn’t just a bulkloading or packaging tool, it’s a dynamic list.
Another option was to bypass the outliner and make the topic OPML from scratch in the Public RSS Reader, but still when I have a new feed for my friend I’ll have to IM or email it to them…I’d rather OPML them.
This is a chain effect…
If my friend gave this clone OPML to someone else to use in another Public RSS Reader, then they would make a clone of the clone…if my friend added a feed to their OPML, they would have to inturn IM or email their friend about it to see if they want to include it in their version of the OPML.
OPML pinging an OPML
We still want control of our OPML but we also want it to be connected to other like OPML’s…
My friend may find a feed and want to add it themselves to the OPML clone (this is exactly what you can do in a Public RSS Reader).
They can have control of their version of the OPML, but it doesn’t mean my OPML can’t be connected as a pinging agent. If I add or delete a feed to the original OPML why can’t that notify any other instance of it out there, where my friend can choose to accept or reject my suggestion.
Now if my friend adds/deletes a feed from the clone OPML, maybe that could also ping my OPML to see if I want to do the same.
I guess what I’m talking about it OPML’s being connected, or better put, OPML’s talking to each other…can OPML’s have a direct relationship?
Can any OPML’s be connected or do they have to have an original/clone relationship?
If I have a topic OPML about “libraries” in a Public RSS Reader like Feed Collectors could I connect this to another topic OPML about “libraries” in Feed Collectors or even a topic OPML about “libraries” in Kinja (which is also a Public RSS Reader).
Next time I login into Feed Collectors it may say a connector to your “libraries” topic from Kinja has added this feed to their topic, are you interested.
It kind of comes back to the Superfan for Bloglines feature where you can have a feed for the OPML of a users RSS Reader, you are notified about any new feed added to that users RSS Reader.
This could be augmented in a social system, if you made lots of topic OPML’s in a Public RSS Reader, then other topic OPML’s of the same name could automatically be connected to each other, when either of you add/delete a feed the other will be notified.
Note that I used the term connected and not subscribed…I don’t have to subscribe to someones OPML folder if I have a folder of the same name, we will automatically be connected and I will be notified about changes in any OPML in the system that has the same topic OPML name as mine.
What about connecting to OPML topic/folders of similar names eg. if your OPML topic/folder is called “libraries”, you may want to manually connect it to any OPML topic/folders in the system called “library” or “LIS” or “librarians”.
This is a new way of self serving feed recommendation without having to follow or subscribe to something, you are connected to it by default by having your own OPML’s.
Is this similar to the idea of SSE?
If you want to follow a topic/folder OPML that is not similar at all to one of your topic OPML’s, then in this case you may subscribe to it manually, as it is not connected (by default) to any of your topic OPML’s.
In this example you are subscribing to a persons OPML, but they are not subscribing to your OPML…if they were this would be happening in the same channel.
NOTE: A personal RSS Reader like BlogBridge enables you to subscribe to an OPML, whenever the owner of that OPML add/deletes a feed you can accept/reject this…so you are synched to the original but yet have your own version. After a year your version may be completely different than the original as you may have rejected alot of changes.
In this sytem you are subscribed to an original OPML topic set of feeds…this is fine, but I’m suggesting an additional feature, and that is: someone can subscribe to your OPML and you can subscribe to their OPML in the same channel, you are connected…you neccessarily aren’t subscribing, all you are doing is creating an OPML and connecting it to someone elses OPML (you are subscribed by default because you created an OPML).
Back to it…
In this scenario I’m not subscribing to their OPML to read my daily content…this is what happens in BlogBridge as I’m virtually subscribed to a feed set.
Instead I just want to know when they add a new feed as I may be interested…this goes back to Superfan for Bloglines…maybe I’m talking about a feed for an OPML.
Maybe it’s as simple as that, I just want to know about new feeds in other users folders names similar to my folder names…and instead of manually subscribing to a feed for an OPML (like Superfan), I want this to automatically happen. When I say this I don’t want another node in my subscription list, I want my OPML folder to be the same node, so in this OPML folder I’m publishing a feed set and also subscribing to other feed sets within the same node (within the same channel).
Now what about this whole scenario in personal RSS Readers…Rojo has social features, but my feed set OPML (subscriptions) isn’t as a whole part of a social system…sure there is a feed sharing system, but not an OPML sharing system, that’s what SYO is attempting.
Imagine each folder (tag of feeds) in Rojo had its own OPML and imagine you could subscribe to other folder OPML’s just like you can in BlogBridge…this would be nothing to innovative.
So I could have a folder called “libraries”, and if Rojo was social enough it would recognise other folders called “libraries”, just say there were 25 other users who used a folder called “libraries”, I’d like to subscribe to each of these folders…not to read the contents but just for feed recommendations, the feeds I like I’ll add to my folder, this is where I do my reading.
In this case I would need to subscribe to 25 OPML folders about “libraries”…this is hectic.
I guess I could make a mother OPML at OPML Workstation and make each of these 25 OPML folders as “includes“, then I would only need to subscribe to one OPML.
Or instead of subscribing to them at all, can’t I be subscribed by default because it recognises I have a folder called “libraries”…in saying this it doesn’t automatically subscribe me to 25 folder OPML’s, it just connects my folder OPML to all these other 25 folder OPML’s. I won’t be able to view these other 25 in my RSS Reader, they are just invisibly connected to one of my folders.
This way I don’t need to subscribe explicity as a whole, all I have to do is:
1. In your personal RSS Reader subscribe to some feeds and organise them into a labelled folder (this folder has an OPML URL otherwise known as a Topic Reading List)
2. The set of feeds in this folder (the topic OPML) will be compared to a set of feeds in other folders (other topic OPML’s) in the Rojo community of the same name, not only that, from then on any feeds that are deleted/added to these other folders of the same name as yours will ping you to let you know.
You don’t have to even know these other topic OPML folders of the same name exist, as they know you exist…the system does it all automatically.
Maybe as a user you could do the same and manually connect your OPML to any OPML (they don’t have to have the same name).
But the reason you would connect them is because they are similar, what would be the point of connecting a topic OPML labelled “knitting” with one labelled “soccer”.