Going to Camp

Today I received an email alerting me to an upcoming, free camp on OPML. Having no idea what in the world OPML might be, I hit up the website and signed up. Now that I’ve poked around a little, I figured out what this new, reputedly hot technology is about: it’s mass RSS! Some of you still might not use the Really Simple Syndication standard yet—by the way, the Berkman Center maintains the RSS standard. Small world.—but if you did, you could check to see if a blog (or podcast or other feed) had been updated without actually having to go there. Microsoft tried doing this sort of thing a long time ago when it first came out with IE 4.0 and its internet channels. Despite the massive amounts of money and time poured into the project, it never really took off with users. [My guess is that bandwidth wasn’t up to snuff yet and Microsoft had you download all the pages in the background, resulting in a slow update speed.]

Anyway, OPML lets you make, among other things, neat looking trees that you can fill in with text, RSS feeds, podcasts, and other things I haven’t figured out yet. It’s a general, all-purpose container for stuff you’d find on the internet. OPML, like RSS, is a subset of XML, so all you have to do is match tags. Here’s a sample I made without too much trouble:

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