OPML is coming on strong thanks to Dave Winer’s recent experiments with pulling together people’s OPML’s and doing stats on them. OPML is basically a list of all the RSS feeds you subscribe to. Think of it as a list of all your favorite magazines, newspapers, etc.If I took 100 of your friends and cross-referenced all those lists of news sources how interesting would the results be? Well, get an RSS reader that supportsOPML and upload your OPML file to Dave’s site and you’ll see. Here is an interesting essay on the topic.
One way XML can help however is to help me discover new sources of information using the most natural source of intelligence there is: the human brain (ok, the human brain if used correctly). OPML looks as if could provide the answer by providing the glue between our categorising, relational minds. OPML lets me produce a list of feeds I regularly read. OPML also lets you produce a list of feeds you regularly read. Now, imagine a few thousand people, all with published OPML formatted feed lists. Within that, there is likely to be some overlapsomeone else could be subscribed to a great deal of feeds I’m subscribed to. More importantly, they are subscribed to a few I’ve never heard of. Its reasonable to assume that these new sources of information will interest me. I add them to my OPML list, and someone else now recognises me as a friend (that is, I share their taste) and they glean some new feeds off me. And so the cycle of discovery continues, all using the natural intelligence of those who participate to make the relations.