The Well-Formed Web?

With well formed data, there’s no reason why not. πŸ˜‰

Now, can we please work out the right way to *do* OPML please?


If you want to point to a WEBSITE: use type=link and url=

If you want to point to an RSS feed use type=rss and xmlUrl=htt://

If you want to point to MORE OPML use type=include and url=

OK. So, you could argue that there might be better ways of doing/specifying it.
And what about htmlUrl, opmlUrl, atomUrl, foafUrl, rdfUrl, type=rdf, type=atom, type=application/pdf or whatever… I don’t know. Just DOCUMENT how you do it.

But what I do know is the sooner we agree and what is the right way to ‘do it’ – the better. πŸ˜€


Hey! Is my OPML Icon out of date?? :p

3D News with RSS

For Vista, when it comes out, here’s an app/widget from Microsoft called UniveRSS.

UniveRSS is a showcase application that demonstrates the use of several WPF features, 3D animations, data binding, and data visualization. Currently UniveRSS uses the RSS Feed Store managed through Internet Explorer 7. Later versions will allow you to manage the Feed Store from within the UniveRSS application.

It looks very nice and very much the type of thing I envisage in Second Life, when (and if) we get html on a prim surface. With all the available data bindings and communications we have at our disposal there, it should be faily easy to build this in the Metaverse.

Thanks to Dave Winer for the link.

Evan’s Podcasting site roundup feedback

Evan Williams, founder of Pyra – which became and head honcho of Odeo has got some Alexa results of podcasting sites out there and provides some feedback.

Good job. Nice to see Libsyn pumping away at the top. I really like those guys.

So, I’m not surprised to see the results for πŸ˜‰

We opened up the doors of the site back at the end of May, as an ‘alpha’, based on some of the early foundation technology we’re building, simply because we couldn’t bare to look at the old horrible greenish page that used to be there any more πŸ˜‰ The feedback we’ve had has been positive.

Since then, we been going like the clappers, not sleeping much, slowly but surely bringing together a whole load of features you haven’t seen yet. The list of subscriptions in the directory there are basically *mine*. As in my user account. There’s two actually – a user called kosso curates the directory and the directory (they’re actually folders within Soon you’ll be able to create your own version of the site and have access to a load of tools and info to get you going in podcasting, whether it’s as a listener or a podcaster. We have publishing tools too – and some pretty nifty urls and data for you to play with. Some original content too! (I can’t wait to let you in on all that πŸ˜‰ )

I often use the analogy of the book industry to describe what we’re up to:

To start, we want to help people find books they want to read and let the author know what they think. Moving along, we want to help people build bookshelves to put all these books on. Then give people the tools to build whole libraries – and connect them together.

Back the other way, we naturally want to help people publish books. And help promote their hard work. Then back, we want to help teach people how to write a book and provide nice and easy tools to do so. Even further back to the core, we also want to help people make paper and ink and even research new types of paper and ink, which might make a book easier to read or understand and hopefully more popular!.

As the people running the generic domain, we intend to DO THE RIGHT THING. What else would you do with the generic domain? I left the BBC to work on this, as I’m incredibly passionate about podcasting having fiddled with building tools and systems since it started. Becoming a podcaster (but not as frequently as I would like – that’s why I’m builfing tools πŸ˜‰ ). Meeting the likes of Dave Winer and Adam Curry last year was a real motivator. Still is. Respec’.
I really didn’t want the site to end up squatted or parked or simply wasted. I’m on a mission (from pod). ‘With great domains comes great responsibility’. We have some interesting things coming up soon which might perk up your ears πŸ˜‰

I’ve just got back from Boston after a great time with the rest of the boys – making sure we’re all on the same playlist and getting the new hands on deck up to speed with the system, ethos and roadmap for the whole place. It’s been very reassuring.

We still have alot to do to get the site open as a public beta, where people will be able to join up and have a go at using the tools we’re putting together. It won’t all come at once. We intend to listen to what you think and iterate. We think it’s going to be an exciting resource for anyone interested in podcasting.

It’s going to be a few more weeks, but now we can all see the next checkpoint. There is no finish line πŸ˜‰

Fresh BBC feeds

Nice to see the fresh podcast feeds from the BBC are working nicely for Mistah Winah!

A fresh feed can be generated of all the latest podcasts in all the feeds in any folder.

NOW – don’t forget folks – the directory you currently see at is MY user account. Here is a different test account [ ]
SOON – you’ll be able to build your own πŸ™‚

All that data you manage there can be imported and exported to your tool of choice. We just hope we can make the discovery journey easier for you.

Fresh Podcast Feeds at

New icons and feeds for the directories at

You should see a new icon over on the directories at – it’s a green feed icon. We chose green, as it feels ‘FRESH’.

When you click a green feed icon next to a directory folder, the site will load up all the most recent entries to all of the podcasts within that folder. Here is a permalink to one of the fresh feed pages

Also, the results displayed by these icons and the ‘freshest feeds’ menu button on the left, provide you with an RSS feed link which you can use in your favourite aggregator to subscribe the latest podcasts automatically.

Eg: Here is the RSS feed for the latest podcasts from the BBC

Eg: Here is the RSS feed for the latest podcasts from NPR

Eg: Here is the RSS feed for the latest podcasts from CNN


Ah, the beauty of distributing content via XML. We love it!

There will be some more very cool new additions to the site coming very soon and we’re working around the clock and the globe to get the doors opened up for you here, so you can start building ‘your own’.

Keep an eye on the development blog at podcast.comΒ 

Patently Ridiculous!

I just got round to having a good read of the two patents out there linked by Adam Green regarding feeds and aggregators and auto-discovery of feeds in a web page.

All this would be a huge fly in the ointment for just about every feed aggregator, feed parser, feed browser/grazer out there!! WTF?

I cant tell if these filings (one from Apples' Steven Jobs) have been accepted and processed yet, but buy, this could pose all sorts of problems.

OPML is not mentioned, per se, but there are so many methods of collecting and presenting feeds mentioned here, that various problems could arise, I think.

Has anyone else seen any further discussion and dissection of these patents? If so, could you let me know, as it could put the kibosh on a few things that many of us are working on. 

Calendars and OPML

Cool! I just got something I think is pretty cool working here. Based on a blogging system I started a long time ago – which I then just used to store links (pre [we use them and their simple urls on the Bluggcast – as simple urls are easier to say on a podcast than the whole kaboodle] – I have been looking at building a calendar to browse the links (or blog/podcast posts if I switch a database table – as they both work the same way). Archive lists are OK on blogs, but I rather like calendars.

I mulled over the idea of whether if was worth learning to build a calendar and eventually decided it was. And boy, was it. At least three other applications for it just appeared out of thin air. Not only that, but as I had first created it in HTML, with higlighted days of activity and the like, I was then able to reeeeally easily evolve that script again to provide the data sets back and forth to a Flash interface, using OPML! Hurrah for OPML! The whole client takes OPML. It eats OPML for breakfast.
THEREFORE, ladies and gentlemen, an(other) API contender has emerged too. Double-hurrah! OPML based too. As Herr Viner vould say: bingk!

Time based feed grazing anyone? πŸ˜‰

Grazer Blazer!

Mike Kowalchik’s Grazr is getting quite bit of attention. Good stuff too! I like it. I met Mike and Adam last time I was over in Boston – and ate my first snail!

One thing about the Grazr I like is the side to side navigation of it. When I first started trying to build an OPML powered navigation and content system, I used that paradigm. When I showed people like Dave, the reaction wasn’t all that great. I explained that it’s similar to the navigation and browsing mechanism of an iPod (I don’t own one, btw). Side to side – up and down, etc. People get it. MILLIONS of people get it. AND they seem OK managing hundreds or thousands of files through that teeny window, using that navigation principle.

I developed some cool demo mobile apps for news reading a couple of years ago which use that too, and for the same reason. It works.

But, something was bugging me. People already know how to use folders, finders and explorers, etc. So I’ve been testing out coding the same experience. It’s interesting and very rewarding when it works. But I think there’s still plenty of wiggle left in these concepts. Let’s evolve the paradigm. Remember the first time you saw Gmail? All that content flipping around the browser with no reloads? Wow! I would say that Gmail helped fuel the whole AJAX craze.
Now. I’m slightly worried that poeple are out filing patents for OPML and RSS systems, which is really going to be unhelpful, especially at this nascent stage for OPML. And I’d like to know if anyone knows about about any. I have heard that there are some being filed.

It would be best to know what these are as soon as possible, now wouldn’t it?

I’m going to see if I can dig out all my early work πŸ™‚