The Information Orgy

  • Jeff Gibbard
  • 3 min read

I woke up this morning, got dressed, stopped in my home office before breakfast. I opened my netbook and clicked on my pretty Google reader icon. Fluid opens up a nice window and automatically logs me in. I look through my various RSS feeds, gathered from all over the web one-by-one. As of this morning I had 140 unique RSS feeds that I checked on a daily basis. Given how quickly social media moves, I find it imperative to read articles everyday. I’m also a loyal tweeter. Now some people say, “Jeff, how in the world can you monitor 140 feeds of information.” Well since they all come into my Google Reader, I just organize them by topic, browse through the headlines and star the stories I find interesting. I actually have it set up to Tweet any article that I star. I thought that this was unique or special, and to some it may be. I may have even lost a few of you midway through that first paragraph. But for those still with me…check this out!

Alltop.com…it’s how I had accumulated many of my feeds. I would click on each link on a page, but if you look at a page like green.alltop.com you’ll see that it can be an arduous task. There are literally hundreds of feeds on a page. I was Tweeting something about alltop.com and what an amazing source of information it is. I got a reply from Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki) who is co-founder of AllTop informing me that I could make my own page at my.alltop.com, which I already knew about. I replied to him that I liked AllTop but really wished there was an easier way to get RSS feeds. What happened next astounded me!

He replied with an amazing tip. ”No problem. Did you know that if you add “opml” to an Alltop link, you can get an OPML file?”

And there it is.

Now take that link from before green.alltop.com and change it to green.alltop.com/opml and what happens is that you get an automatic download of all of the feeds on that page in an .opml file. An OPML file is basically a file containing RSS feeds. You can import an opml into most rss readers. I prefer Google Reader since it is easily accessible from anywhere. To import the feed into GReader, click ‘Manage Subscriptions’ at the bottom left of the screen, then click ‘Import/Export’ at the top right. Then just import the OPML file and make sure to add them to folders or Tag them. It’s easy to get information overload.

Today, I took my number of feeds from 140 to over 2000. I may not be able to get through all that much more information but I have more of it coming in, which increases my chances of uncovering more interesting articles, tips, tricks, lists, hints etc. We are in the information age. We have access to information at ALL times and it is this access that I feel will cause dramatic changes in how humans communicate, learn, and innovate.

I want to give special thanks to Guy Kawasaki for pointing out that feature and for co-founding such a bad-ass epicenter of information on the web. I highly recommend alltop.com as a starting place for learning, and go make your own page at my.alltop.com

Please feel free to comment or email me.

1 reply on “The Information Orgy”

  • Indispensable Tools: Google Reader and RSS feeds | Social Media Philanthropy
    November 10, 2010 at 11:09 am

    […] RSS can be used for classifieds, for tech news, for magazines, for blogs, etc, etc. […]

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