7 reasons 2006 will be a big year for OPML

Following on from Christian
's prediction regarding OPML earlier this week...

"I agree with Alex
:2006 will be a big year for OPML. The format is getting more
and more traction, ideas start to flow and applications are just around the
corner. On my side, I’m getting really excited about it. "

Christian goes on to describe some internesting scenarios
inspired by
the reading list idea
(inventor of
and RSS). A
picking this
up and running with it
. I think we're touching the tip of the iceberg
with these OPML-enabled
scenarios (but you've got to start somewhere).

So why do I think 2006 is going to be a big year for
OPML? Seven reasons I can think

7 reasons 2006 will be a big year for OPML


OPML will ride the RSS slipstream. 2005 has been arguably the year of RSS.
Since RSS is now 'out there' and a firmly established part of the internet, it won't take nearly as long for OPML to reach
a tipping point compared to RSS
in terms of time-to-critical-mass (RSS was invented in 1997, OPML in 2000). However, as we've learnt with RSS, in order
for OPML to become a 'mass use' technology,
it will need to become
'invisible' to
the user

2. Developers familiar with RSS will 'get' OPML in a snap . The number of
developers familiar with RSS is growing and will continue to grow, therefore
the number of developers that know how to leverage OPML will grow with it -
RSS and OPML are very related. Large
companies are playing with RSS
so they will collectively 'get' OPML quicker than they 'got' RSS.
Existing RSS-enabled and RSS-enhanced services and products can quickly
enhance their offerings further by providing support for OPML.

3. RSS is getting to the point of ubiquity.
Regardless of whether the users know they
are using RSS or not, there appears to be a
critical mass of RSS users.
Getting to the situation where users to use OPML without them knowing they are
using OPML doesn't seems to be a huge stretch of the imagination.

4. It looks like 2006 will be a healthy environment for start-up and internal
project funding
has been a recent spate
of RSS-related acquisitions and VC-backed RSS-enabled start-ups
emerging cropping up. With a willing investment market hungry for new
opportunities it is a good time for OPML-related start-ups to get a
sympathetic ear from those looking to invest in emerging syndication technology
and media markets.

5. There are two sides to the OPML coin: consumption and publishing. On the
consumption side, there are more RSS readers you can shake a stick at - most
already provide some form of OPML support and extending that support to
some simple but high value scenarios won't take to much effort for
the feed reader developers. New OMPL
browsers are appearing too
. On the publishing side, blogs have been the primary
vehicle driving RSS. Adding additional OPML publishing support by the
blogware developers to enable these new and interesting scenarios shouldn't seem like a huge
stretch of the imagination.

6. There are some really useful scenarios that could be enabled by OPML .
OPML is not in a situation where it is a solution looking for a problem to
solve - some of scenarios outlined are genuinely useful and OPML makes these
relatively easy to enable.

7. OPML is cool, is simple and it works :-)


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