the value of your OPML file


Raymond* says that his OPML file could soon become one of his greatest assets. He’s created a very cool OPMLish screencast explaining why:



“OPML has so much potential. If I spend time on my OPML file, I will eventually build a multi-layered outline of my entire public life as well as parts of my personal life. For Amazon, this file would have some value. It would also have value for potential customers, employers, or partners in projects. With the growth of OPML browsers, we will be able to surf such accounts of people’s lives.


Hopefully, I could then ‘link’ to specific sub-nodes in the huge opml file, like my file of ‘videobloggers to watch’, which would be a Part of my “master opml file”, but would also easily be extracted into its own file that you could use in for instance bloglines. To illustrate how I do this extraction today, I made a screencast showing how I extract nodes (buckets/folders – I don’t know what to call them) from my bigger OPML file and how I can use those nodes.”


* friendly Norwegian OPML freak.


Tags: OPML, screencast, opmlfreak

Comments (4)

  1. Addys says:

    Taxonomies have been around forever… Raymond just now figured out that his OPML = his taxonomy of interests? Hooray for him 🙂

  2. Heh, Addys, yes, taxonomies have been around forever, but in my opinion OPML is much more than that. It gives context. It is not just a list of my interests, but it gives a variety that goes beyond even a long string of keywords or categories. Instead of me stating that "videoblogging" is one of my interests, the file could give a list to my favourite videoblogs, examples of ones that I have created myself, and so on. I don’t think taxonomies as such is the main point here, but hey I might be wrong.

  3. Addys says:

    I agree that OPML is a *much* better taxonomy implementation than just keywords, and probably a step beyond hierarchical favorites (ala delicious) . However, that wasn’t the topic of Raymond’s post :

    "OPML has so much potential. If I spend time on my OPML file, I will eventually build a multi-layered outline of my entire public life as well as parts of my personal life. For Amazon, this file would have some value. It would also have value for potential customers, employers, or partners in projects. With the growth of OPML browsers, we will be able to surf such accounts of people’s lives."

    To me that sounded like he connected the dots and concluded that an OPML file does a good job of mapping his interests. Or in other words, that it is basically a taxonomy. To which I replied – “Duh!” J

    "As I build on my OPML file, I can decide myself what information I want to include in it. I could include a list of my cars, or of my books. I could add the opml file of all my rss feeds from del.icio.us through flickr to my other random projects. As I build on my different OPML files and ultimately make one master OPML file, I will have gathered my own portable lense that can be of massive use for marketers, contacts, and ultimately myself"

    The same post would have been equally applicable to his IE favorites (assuming there was a standardized format for sharing those) or any other taxonomy structure. The paradigm shift with OPML isn’t that it does any of the above, but that it leverages a simple, standard format which is both machine and human friendly and can be shared across multiple providers, consumers, services, etc. That is what enables the exciting new scenarios…

    So I guess we both agree on the basic points, but differ on our interpretation of what makes it interesting 🙂