May 08, 2006

i don't get share your opml.

It's another list of lists, right? ID-ing the biggest hunters and gatherers and graduates of Evelyn Woods' Speed Feeding Course? I dunno. I don't get it. 

Bonus Observation: Wow, I was surprised by how many of the tech-biz gurus already using SYOPML subscribe to this feed. NOT.

It's really interesting how this list looks so much like this list. NOT.

So far the exercise looks like 90-percent outing, 10 percent useful to me, or maybe the outing will be the useful part.

Hellooo, ello, ello, ello, ello....

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alan said...

There aren't as many ????????

Shelley said...

You know, a young woman wearing a beautiful new dress will twist and turn in front of this mirror and that mirror, to see how she looks in her new frock.

Share my OPML and the Technorati 100 are just like those mirrors...but for middle aged men.

Anonymous said...

That was my reaction when I visited for the first (and last) time today: Dave Winer has reinvented the Technorati 100.

Ho hum.

Jeneane Sessum said...

I am busily writing a utility that will automate my subscription to every feed that anyone has ever subscribed to. This way I can make the top of the Greedy Feeders list: Where you can subscribe any time you like, but you can never read.

See you there!

Anonymous said...

it2s like invent a meme and then feed it. Like that band The Monkees that was made popular, with aTV show and promo, although they didn't write their own music, which was always supposed to be the point as I understood it.

"Hey hey we're the monkeys" would be a good theme song for the opml sharing thing. But... you _have_ tried out an opml blog, right?

Anonymous said...

Where you can subscribe any time you like, but you can never read.
That is the single most brilliant thing I have read all day. --j

Jeneane Sessum said...

Thank you JBM. ;-)

much love.

Anonymous said...


You believe in redemption, right? OPML is a story of redemption.

"Share Your OPML" is but one event in a long stream of connected events. What's common to all those events is a man named Dave.

Around 2002 (after a heartattack) Dave Winer seems to have taken stock of himself and his life's work. He had a small pile of collected assets and he decided to use those assets to change the world for the better.

His first stop was Harvard University where he worked to leverage the people and resources of Harvard to change the world as a Berkman Fellow... he was a jolly good fellow and taught academia they joys of blogging... some think they could have done this without him but those people are always negative: a sour vintage in any year.

At that point he'd given many of these assets away... or at least determined that sharing these assets with other like minded software creators would benefit more than just himself... in fact the benefits of sharing could exponentially increase the benefit of the asset (or technology) in question.

Some of Dave's assets (shared and unshared at that time) included many file formats that made his software work over the internet and with other software products and services... RSS, XMP-RPC, and OPML.

RSS and XMP-RPC become overwhelmingly popular and secured Dave's position in the programmers hall of fame.

But Dave had a fancy for the least of his inventions: OPML... the "OutLine Processor Markup Language".

OPML was an xml-based format deisgned to describe an Outline. In Dave's software development history, Outliner's we one of his key product category contributions.

Dan Bricklin invented the spreadsheet with Visicalc.

Dave Winer's approach to software always seemed to return to the concpets of an Outline. Dave wrote and merketing many Outliners over the years and his last major round of products at Userland used an Outliner as the "script" writing tool...

This scripting environment become the guts of the freely available OPML Editor whihc has most of the capabilities now of the Userland commericial product "Radio".

Dave set out to make OPML a household meme with the release of the OPML Editor (for windows and Mac available at The files beneath Dave's OPML editor are instances of the OPML format.

OPML can be applied most readily to structured outlines or lists.

Dave worked for many years to get all the blogging tools and aggregators to share "blogrolls" (which are typically oragnized in lists) as OPML files. Many blogging and feed related sites support inporting and exporting these lists in OPML format.

Where dave is headed with "Share your OPML" is likely the ability to upload your OPML and thus create a pool of data for programmers to use for determining site relationships... programmer's will if the data is opened with API's. That's where the XML-RPC asset might come into play.

Currently the Share Your OPML site looks a lot like Technorati's list becuase Dave's readers are largely technical/geeky and interested in web programming.

Dave, as we all know, is an avowed feminist... which for Dave means "I like women". It' pretty common for Dave to re-define words to match his inner nature and throw out the meanings that others ascribe to the term.

Share Your OPML doesn't seem to match the interests of other groups yet... BUT there's nothing to prevent other gorups from sharing their OPML along lines of interest different from Dave's readers. They would just need to hire a geek to code up such a directory for them to aggregate all those OPML lists.

So, OPML is bing pushed forward by a man on a mission. A man determined to change the world before his ticker calls it quits...

I hope this helps you see the value of the site. It validates a highly productive programmer's whole technical and social life. He's giving away the key assets of his life's work in an effort to see those assets make some kind of difference in the live's of ordinary people.

We could all do a lot worse with our end game and most of us probably will.

Me... I'm going to play the piano and watch a lot of clasic movies, take long walks with my sweatheart and comment on blogs for the pure pleasure of writing thoughts down. It won't change the world... I lost those ambitions a long time ago. For me... there was too high a risk of loosing myself to my own ego.

Jeneane Sessum said...

you mean, it doesn't stand for Other People's Markup Language?

Anonymous said...


Can I assume you used to smoke O.P.'s on occasion? The connections the brain can make based upon a few decdes of life is amazing.


Jeneane Sessum said...

HA! that's one generation... i teter on the other OP generation, which always makes me giggle at OPML.

You down with OPML?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I asked... now I get to smile too.

Are you down with "Other People's Male Links"? I didn't think so.

I'm not surprized that we mirror social patterns of gender, race and politics in our daily reads.

"Share Your OPML" ends up looking like Share Your Narrow View of Reality. Then I read you and you point me to a world view I'd likely never stumble across in my geek ghetto travels.