I’ve been wanting to put together some good OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) files all week, inspired by Anne Zelenka’s giant Blogher file and the conversation I had with legal blogger Dennis Kennedy about the incredible potential for this medium.
An OPML file is, in this case, a single file you can use to subscribe to a number of RSS (definition) feeds all at once. This means that with one link you are subscribed to all future content from selected sources. I think that selecting a handful of key feeds in certain topic areas and offering those to other people is going to be a powerful way that information-overload gatekeepers help the rest of the world find and easily subscribe to the best news sources available. In this sense everyone who puts together OPML files is like an editor of anthologies; only the authors that the editor selects provide ongoing, dynamic contributions.
Without further theoretical ado, I’ll tell you how to use these files and then tell you what I’ve put in them.
In some RSS feed readers you can just copy the links below and paste them into the Import OMPL (or Subscriptions) by URL field. In others you may need to download the file connected to these links and import it from your computer – no big deal there either.
In Newsgator, for example, follow these links: Add Feeds, URL and Import, Import, enter the linked URL of your choice below.
In Bloglines (where it doesn’t end up looking nearly as pretty as it does in NewsGator by the way) take the following route: My Feeds, Edit, Import Subscriptions (at the bottom of the left pane). Users of other systems should all be able to figure out how to import OPML files, except maybe MyYahoo users for whom I don’t know how feasible this will be. You can delete any of these feeds individually at any time, too.
To subscribe to these groups of feeds what you want are the links or files behind the subject heading links. To see what has already been delivered by the individual sources, click on their particular links.
Let me know if you have any problems with this. I am just learning how to do this and I’m sure it could have been done more gracefully. Info on how I made these can be found in this post.
So here they are…
- International Free Speech News
Contains feeds for:
- ACLU free speech press releases
- Article 19: Campaign for Global Free Expression
- Index on Censorship
- Institute for War and Peace Reporting
- Amnesty International news
Note: None of the above organizations provide these feeds; for information on how they were grabbed see my post “International Free Speech News via OPML”
- Big Picture Eco News
Not local, not issue specific, not neccesarily from any particular perspective but big picture, popular news from folks who focus on environmental issues.
- Popular recent items tagged “environment” in Del.icio.us
- Environmental News Network
- Gristmill, the blog of Grist.org
- Sprol.com, using maps and pictures to examine eco troubles world wide
- Tree Hugger, eco news for the hip and urban – I think.
- WorldChanging, a great group blog on many issues including eco solutions.
- Non Profit/Net Squared
Feeds from non profit groups using Web 2.0 tools to share news about the non profit sector.
- The 501c3 Cast, a great podcast about non profit work.
- Items tagged Net2 in Del.icio.us, a news wire promoted by Net Squared
- Net Squared Interviews, interviews of folks using Web 2.0 tools explicitely for social good.
- Net Squared Blog, group blog by staff and participants in the Net Squared community.
- Non Profit Online News, long one of the most respected sources on the subject.
- Today in Tech Soup, news from the non profit technology assistance group Tech Soup, parent of Net Squared.
- Political Audio
Three of the most moving and informative news audio shows online.
- Vlogs (video blogs)
So those are some of my favorite sources of online media – now you can subscribe to them in groups with just a couple of clicks. I hope that OPML files will spread and multiply beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. They sure seem to have a lot of potential.
Update: I’ve added all of the above to the 35,000+ OPML files and RSS feeds searchable at OPMLsearch.com. Wow!