Inspired by Tom Raferty’s recent interview with EirePreneur’s James Corbett at the Irish Blog Awards, I’ve been messing around with OPML this evening. OPML is an ‘xml format for outlines‘, in laymans terms a sort of meta-feed, allowing the consolidation of URI’s and RSS Feeds.
As we all gradually transition from getting our news and information from a series of site visits, to subscribing to tailored feeds of postings, postcasts, vidcasts and media streams, methods of rapidly, accurately, and inclusively navigating the morass of information will become increasingly important.
Already I’m finding it difficult to track my feeds through a unified single window web service. There are lots of alternatives: Netvibes, and Page Flakes will allow you to keep a live front page of headlines – but pageflakes cant yet browse deeper into the feed, and netvibes takes up too much space displaying headlines to allow more than a dozen feeds to be easily tracked.
Bloglines allows you to create a publically accessible page listing all your feeds (check), and lets you easily keep track of numerous feeds (check) – but won’t display storys linked by enclosure clips within the ‘frame’ of its interface. No (online) service yet seems to be everything I’m looking for; essentially a less ugly version of Feed Show, which lets me offer a public front end, eats its feed live from my own ompl XML, and can display audio and video content (ideally with live conversion to flash) – why should I have to log in just to read my feeds, and shouldn’t I also be able to easily present a link to them on my website?
None the less, aggregating feeds has gotten easier. With a service like OPML Manager, you can (for the moment painstakingly) create an opml feed containing all your RSS and URL links, ready to be thrown into the feedgrazers which are almost ready for prime time.