There have been a few posts around discussing an excellent idea of creating something called a reading list. Think of a collection of feeds, an OPML, but dynamic, meaning accessible online and easily altered at any time. The concept is very simple, and I am sure that creating a system to handle this wouldn’t be that difficult either. Dave Winer wrote about the idea of reading lists and mentioned some examples about creating a reading list for Web 2.0 Workgroup, Engadget, or anything really. The concept is small yet amazingly powerful. Michael Arrington told about his thoughts and Fred Oliveira also had wrote about his thoughts on reading lists. The reaction about reading lists and OPML is definitely standing out and I feel that this could be a big step for the web.

Dave Winer says,

Reading lists are OPML documents that point to RSS feeds, like most of the OPML documents you find, but instead of subscribing to each feed in the document, the reader or aggregator subscribes to the OPML document itself. When the author of the OPML document adds a feed, the aggregator automatically checks that feed in its next scan, and (key point) when a feed is removed, the aggregator no longer checks that feed. The editor of the OPML file can update all the subscribers by updating the OPML file. Think of it as sort of a mutual fund for subscriptions.

I am picturing the future of feed readers allow you to instead export an OPML file, but rather go the the URL for your Reading List, Online OPML, Dynamic OPML, or whatever it is to be called. Now that I am thinking about it, a few services came to mind. The first service that came to mind is Rollyo. Now, Rollyo allows you to create a list of sites/weblogs that you want to only search through. You then name your list, or roll, and others can use it. They have a “reading list” type functionality, but built into their search. If Rollyo had allowed for their rolls to be used externally, the idea of a reading list may have come about sooner. I am picturing grabbing a reading list address, opening Google, and typing, “list:http://www.mysite.com/readinglist.opml Web 2.0.” What I had just written is to mimic the current “site:http://www.mysite.com” command that Google offers where you put an address of a site and then a search term. The effects of using a reading list would pretty much create external rolls from rollyo. Picture the possibilities!

Another service that comes to mind that I have recently come across is called, Aggrssive. I am planning on writing a review about this service, so hold tight on that. But, the service is pretty much a feed aggregator that allows you to add feeds and import OPML files. It then allows you select multiple feeds you are subscribed to and combine them into a dynamic “Heart-Cart.” Ok, so its like mixing the feeds right? Yes, but the thing is, you can update your Heart-Cart at any time and anybody that is a member of Aggrssive can then subscribe to your Heart-Cart. Sharing of dynamic lists of feeds. Same as Rollyo, the concept is there, its just screaming, “Let me out!”

Reading lists are definitely a great idea. If we do not see anything continue with this, I will be pretty upset because this would be an amazing addition to the web. Imagine how great this would be for networks and groups, such as the 9rules Network and the Web 2.0 Workgroup. When a new member is added to the OPML, everyone subscribed to the reading list will get the new member.

Anyone have any additional thoughts on this? Know of anything in relation to reading lists or possibly using the concept already?

Update: Looks like there may be something already in development! I signed up for the notification list. Excited to see what it’s like. I might write more about the service tomorrow, so hang tight.


6 Comments on “Reading Lists: The Dynamic OPML”

  1. Blogdigger Development Blog says:

    Reading Lists and Blogdigger Groups

    I am a horrible marketer. There’s been lots of talk about Reading Lists, dynamic OPML generators, etc. as of late and no one seems to know about Blogdigger Groups.

  2. Miha says:

    It would be very cool to see it in action. I think in the near future feed readers have to think on this option too.

  3. Richard Dunlop-Walters says:

    I think this is a great idea.

    I mentioned it on my blog about a month ago, thinking I was super hip for being the first with a “fresh” idea. Turns out I was wrong. :p

    Can’t wait for rollr.

  4. Odyssey » Some cleaning up says:

    [...] up the content a bit and added an OPML file of all my feeds. Speaking of OPML, these guys have got a great idea coming up. I wonder how it would turn out to be.
    Tags: f [...]

  5. Library clips :: OPML and RSS: Outline, File, Feed, Splice :: October :: 2005 says:

    [...] t an OPML file that acts as a feed, well this is what are being called OPML reading list. Solution Watch says: “I am picturing the future of feed readers allow you [...]

  6. Ole Christian Enger says:

    [...] I’ve implemented an opml reading list, as explained by Dave Winer (via Solution Watch: Reading lists are OPML documents that point to RSS feeds, like most of the OPML documents you find, but instead of subscribing to each feed in the document, the reader or aggregator subscribes to the OPML document itself. When the author of the OPML document adds a feed, the aggregator automatically checks that feed in its next scan, and (key point) when a feed is removed, the aggregator no longer checks that feed. The editor of the OPML file can update all the subscribers by updating the OPML file. Think of it as sort of a mutual fund for subscriptions. [...]