Product & Startup Builder

OPML Auto-Discovery

Added on by Chris Saad.
In Firefox and IE7 subscribing to RSS is dead simple. When the page contains RSS a little RSS icon lights up. Click for instant access to the feed. Whether or not there is useful consumption tools for that RSS is another story though ;)

We have actually done a lot of work in the Touchstone Feed Reader to do auto-discovery of feeds from pages. With the new Feed Subscription Helper, when prompted for a URL, you can provide either a web page, or an feed. Touchstone will automatically detect if the page contains an alternative view, determine the format of the view (E.g. Atom or RSS) and load the feed in the appropriate way.

One thing we never considered, however, is the discovery of OPML.

That is exactly what Marjolein has just posted about on CleverClogs. A bookmarklet for OPML Auto-discovery in Firefox.

What a clever idea!

I think we should support something similar in in latter builds of Touchstone.

I think that the act of distributing sets of feeds in OPML is going to become more useful and popular as people realize that they can subscribe to broad set of information (i.e. many feeds at once) and a Personal Relevancy Engine like Touchstone while can help filter the noise from the signal to produce a useful result.

Also, I don't see why we couldn't periodically check the OPML file to detect changes in the list too - this way you have a live reading list like some feed readers have implemented already.

Update: Digg Her Article Here