I have been an avid user of Netvibes since Tariq Krim, its founder showed it to me in Paris a month ago. Using Netvibes I came accross the whole culture of RSS feeds and OPML files. Basically an RSS feed is distilled content from a web site as seen in another website, it´s pure text content without the graphics. An OPML file is a collection of RSS feeds. Thus if you and I exchange OPML files you will get my collection of RSS feeds and I will get yours. I already did this with Lance Knobel for example and through him I learned about many interesting new interesting feeds. Looking at this new environment two opportunities come to mind. The first one is adding graphics to RSS feeds. Graphics say a lot about a site, when I am deprived of graphics I am deprived of information. The second idea is to start an OPML exchange where people on the net exchange OPML files basically revealing their reading preferences to each other.

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bernard on January 18, 2006  · 

Hi Martin,

Most definately agree with you. When people want to understand a different persons take on an issue, particularly how they build up an understanding of a topic, OPML reading lists can be a fantastic resource.

Take a look at http://www.opmlmanager.com. Think about signing up, upload your OPML file, and then publish it to this site.

I am sure alot of people would like to get an insight into what you keep an eye on.


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Lance Knobel on January 19, 2006  · 

RSS feeds do have images, although not in NetVibes (they seem to ignore a number of attributes, like author and date, as well). Look for example in your browser directly at the feed for the extremely beautiful Bibliodyssey. Most aggregators show images. And, importantly, RSS feeds can have enclosures, which is the origin of podcasting.

You can find the specs for RSS at the Harvard Law School site which hosts and owns RSS.

On the exchange of OPML files, have a look at what Dave Winer is doing with reading lists.

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