OPML Editor Roadshow

Dave Winer gave a demo of his OPML editor last week in NYC and I got a chance to attend. It’s very basic stuff right now, but the potential is there.

The neat part of what he was doing, for my money, was making it really easy to build and join directories of information, letting users use the joined lists as one experience. So, if we had a list of OPML files based on say 10 TV networks, I could have ten bloggers managing those files and then present those files to a user as one directory. Reminds old folks like me of things like DMOZ and GNN, things that came before Yahoo and Wikipedia.

Most folks use never touch the OPML file that powers their RSS reader, and editing an OPML file in raw format (i.e. notepad) is done by only a handful of people. Your only other option for editing an OPML file (that I’m aware of) is by moving your subscriptions around in your reader (i.e. changing the order of feeds or moving them to folders in Bloglines). This process is slow and time consuming, what if you could drag and drop OPML objects in an editor and across OPML files? What if your blog’s content was saved and edited in an OPML editor? Well, that’s what Dave has built. It’s simple, but slick. Adding object support (i.e. letting users drop in JPGs or MP3 files), plugging it into a database as opposed to a simple directory structure like Dave showed, or having merge tools is clearly the next step.

It’s certainly go me thinking. I’m not sure I have a product I could make with this yet, but it certainly help build features of a product right now.

I don’t have the softwre yet, but Dave’s gonna put me in the next beta round. At that point I’ll be my team playing with it and see what we can come up with.

Dave’s onto something again, and it seems like he’s looking for folks to take the idea to the next level. Which sort of makes Dave, for all the personal issues that surround the man, into a real mensch in my book. Not often you see a guy bust his ass to make a product for no personal gainlet alone over and over again.

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