Today I checked out opml at the specification level. Is this really a fun thing to do on my weekend? Probably not, but it was raining and I recently emailed my colleagues about the possibilities of using opml to provide lists of rss feeds, so I've been thinking about it.
I've even used it once or twice before to import a few rss feeds to bloglines. In the 'old days' (and in modern days too) librarians have prepared bibliographies, reading lists and recommendations to their communities. So what has this to do with opml? Well, I'm finding that rss subscriptions have become critical to me keeping abreast of new developments in my profession, so it seems likely that library customers would also find rss subscriptions a very useful way to keep current. Time to make the reading/subscription list get with it! OPML files have become widely accepted as a method for transferring lists of rss subscriptions between aggregators.
To that end I have created a file (LIS.opml) as a starter kit for anyone who wants to keep current on library and information science topics. It has an Australian flavour - with a couple of ALIA feeds thrown in. Go ahead, import it into your rss aggregator.
So the challenge is out there subject/faculty/reference librarians, can we start creating some lists of authoritative, informative feeds for our customers as a regular part of our jobs?
IE 7 (beta) has rss reading functionality as a standard feature. Once this becomes part of the SOE (standard operating environment) for the office, we won't have to convince anyone that they should create an account with a web aggregator, or decide what software download. RSS is going mainstream.