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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.)

Carlo Zottmann's picture

I use Atom to keep...

I use Atom to keep an eye on interesting stuff on Amazon. The items on my wishlist are mainly on my wishlist because I don't have the money to buy them right now, and I don't have the time to visit the wishlist three times a week to check whether there was a price change or not. So I wrote a little service for personal use but a couple of friends seemed to like the idea, too, thus I made it public two days ago. I called it Watchcow.net. Comes with bookmarklet and everything. It's not the über-cool Atom use ever, but I personally think it's a great little example for creative syndication use, don't you think? ;)




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