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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Living in XML?

Danny O’Brien, among others, has been noting how many nerds have started piping as much of their life as possible through personal XML feeds, using stuff like RSS and Atom.

I’m intrigued by this, but, apart from the 100 sites I read each day in NetNewsWire, I’m only dipping a toe into the world of personal RSS. I get a feed of shows my friends are attending and Netflix recommendations, but not too much more. I know there's a lot more out there.

One thing I’ve really started to love is reading comments and updates via RSS and Atom (instead of email). I think Flickr is way ahead of the curve on this one: I can get feeds of practically anything, including recent comments on my photos, recent photos by my contacts or even photos by keyword. I’d love to see the folks at LiveJournal look at something similar. It’s a brilliant way to consolidate and “bubble up” information that used to require a lot of drill-down in scattered locations. It seems like the way things are heading, to be sure.

Anyway, I’d love to hear how you are using XML feeds in ways that you find productive and cool; How have you piped your life? Not so much the typical use of feeds for blogs and news—we all know about that. But how about personal calendars, reminders, work notes, and the rest of the administrivia in your life? Was it hard to setup? Anybody keeping a private blog? Let's hear about it.

Layman’s terms and links gratefully accepted, as ever. (Also: aching for the next round of that Atom vs. RSS [.91|1|2] breakdance fight? Take it outside, Boogaloo Shrimp. We're keeping it friendly on this street. TIA.)

Al Abut's picture

Oh, forgot this one for...

Oh, forgot this one for the macheads - versiontracker releases new software updates as an rss feed, lots of good little useful freeware out there, also how I find out about Apple updates.

Also, this might be slightly OT: I've seen "Does RSS hurt productivity?" type of posts recently and been wondering whether just piping everything to rss is the 90's email inbox information overload all over again - it's an excellent procrastination enabler for me to open up netnewswire - so I just thought of an idea tonight: maybe you can use different rss clients to manage a different batch or type of information. There's so many slick pieces of software out there trying to tackle this thing and this could be a way to see what the different interfaces feel like. Something along the lines of: use client1 for weblog/news feeds, client2 for calendering, client3 for etc etc.




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