This is an important discussion and one close my heart. I commented over on Dave’s (wordpress) blog , but I thought I’d add to it over here:
Re: OPML lists and ‘trees’ – etc expect some along these lines soon:
The system developed behind podcast.com enables just that, it’s just that naturally with podcast.com we are only interested in feeds with audio or video enclosures.
So, podcast.com is a ‘client’ of this larger system which will be able to support all types of ‘types’ – all supporting OPML inclusion.
I don’t think you should call them ‘lists’ – I think ‘trees’ is more descriptive. ‘Reading trees’. People can either ‘climb’ up then to find the ‘fruit’ (content) they want, or they could wait for the most popular to drop into their lap. Also through looking through ‘leaves’ (tags) they can be sure of following the right branches, as they ‘climb’ up the tree, deep and deeper into the directory/tree. (’directree’? )
OPML is the tree
FEEDS are the vines
TAGS are the leaves
ITEMS/ENCLOSURES are the fruit.
The coolest thing about OPML inclusion, is you could think of it like climbing up a tree, going along a branch, and then ‘zap’, you’re in another tree. Like magic. Painless. Rewarding.
Semantics. Taxonomy. Folksonomy.
Now that’s what I call a ’social media network’
I hope to be able to let some users in to try out the system in the next 4 weeks.
Then people could create something like : http://my.podcast.com/kosso , which is my ‘listening tree’/ podcast folders/ ‘tree of sound’
One reason why I think there are more OPML ‘lists’ than ‘trees’ out there is that there are too few tools out there to effectively manage an OPML file. Your apps have been the best to date (once we got the rss attributes sorted)
I mean managing OPML folders/nodes effectively, over import/export of ‘flat’ lists. So many systems eith dont ‘do’ folders or destroy them on import/export.
Also, I think we really need to evangelise the concept of ‘OPML subscription’ .
OPML files are so often used as static files to import/export bunches of feeds. It is indeed great for backup in that sense. But I believe that ‘OPML Subscription CONNECTS’ all these trees/branches out there. When one branch changes on one tree – if there is an ‘inclusion’ (think of it like a shortcut/symbolic link to a folder) then the other will be able to reflect that if one was to climb that branch.
The trees are ALIVE! So subscribe to them! Watch them grow Feed them, prune them and ‘graft’ ‘cuttings’ to their branches.
We like to call it ‘treedia‘ :)
Clearly for this to work, we also need well defined standards to make sure the data out there is well-formed – or we’re screwed but let’s not make the same mistake the web browsers did, by just displaying html if it was broken or not.
I feel like doing another podcast