Next Steps in RSS, Reading Lists

Cut & Paste of Dave's post

Next steps in RSS, Reading Lists

I had a great meeting today with Niall Kennedy at Technorati, followed by a meeting with the folks at the new Web 2.0 Workgroup, which I joined up with yesterday.

Amazingly, both meetings ended up being about the same idea, Reading Lists for RSS, an enormously simple but powerful idea. Those, of course, are the best.

First, an announcement. I've been working on an podcasting client that runs inside the OPML Editor. The user interface is an outline. It's not an incredible breakthrough in podcasting clients, but it's got a couple of features no podcasting client has had before, and is missing quite a few features the others have.

Reading lists are OPML documents that point to RSS feeds, like most of the OPML documents you find, but instead of subscribing to each feed in the document, the reader or aggregator subscribes to the OPML document itself. When the author of the OPML document adds a feed, the aggregator automatically checks that feed in its next scan, and (key point) when a feed is removed, the aggregator no longer checks that feed. THe editor of the OPML file can update all the subscribers by updating the OPML file. Think of it as sort of a mutual fund for subscriptions.

The Web 2.0 Workgroup, Mike Arrington, Richard MacManus, Frederico Oliveira and myself, will maintain a Web 2.0 reading list. Technorati will publish many reading lists on many topics as a natural adjunct to their Blog Finder service. Imagine an Engadget reading list. Or an ACLU or Planned Parenthood reading list. Political Wire. Doc Searls. Robert Scoble's reading list of Microsoft community sites. Yahoo's list of hot shopping lists. The possibilities go on and on. I hope many more people will provide lots of different reading lists, and (most important) that aggregator developers will implement this feature for their users.

I'll get the ball rolling by including the feature in my humble podcast client, and will provide full example source code so others don't have to guess how it's implemented.

Author: netweb

#bbPress core committer, contributor & moderator, #WordPress, and #BuddyPress Build Tools component maintainer. You can find me on WordPress Slack as @netweb, Twitter as @netweb, GitHub as @ntwb.

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