Monday, July 31, 2006

How to get an OPML feed into your google homepage?

Several colleagues have been blogging recently, and sending around an OPML file for co-workers interested in following the new posts on those blogs.

The downloadable RSS clients seem to have good OPML import/export support, but I'm not a big fan of the fat client RSS readers because I like to be able to check my news on the go -- no matter what computer is in front of me.

I am pretty fond of my google homepage where I can scan new headlines quickly . . . so I set off to find a portlet for that page which would give me a quick heads-up to any new posts at my colleague's blogs.

After trying to search for an "OPML" portlet for my google homepage without much success, I finally found (right in front of nose) Google Reader. Here's how to hook it up to your Google homepage:


Forrest said...

have you tried

I was an avid Google 'ig' fan, but got tired of missing so much during the off hours. The interface in bloglines is pretty good, they make it easy to have a LOT of subscriptions and keep up with them all. It's a frames site, though. I would really like to see them try some asynch. javascript stuff instead. Other than that, I highly recommend.

Jason said...

Ditto the bloglines suggestion. I used the google custom page as an aggregator for a while until Erik showed me bloglines.

Matt said...

I will of course reserve the right to change my mind later, and I have to fully admit I have't tried bloglines yet....but, here's my initial thinking....

The stuff I put on my google 'ig' homepage is stuff that I can stand to 'miss' if I go out of town for a week, go on vacation or get very very busy in a given week. Then, what I put it in google reader (which then shows up as the portlet in the google homepage), is the stuff that I definately want to read every entry for (things like colleagues and friends blogs, and any news site where I can't stand to let something slip by me) because google reader tracks the 'unread' marks. Would bloglines allow me to do something to define that variation (between feeds that must read every entry from, and feeds that I can stand to miss here and there)?

Jason said...

Bloglines holds all the feeds it gets until you mark them read. It seems to have a 200 update limit and then it will start rolling off old updates, but outside of that it simply stores up your feeds and you choose what you want to read. Come by Monday and I can show you the interface and you can see what you think.

Matt said...

Just a quick follow-up. I took a look at jason's bloglines setup, and we were able to surmise a few similiarities and differences between bloglines and google reader..

1. Both track read marks, and have a mechanism for flagging something ('marking unread' in bloglines vs 'starring' in google reader).
2. Both appear to handle a variety of feed types.
3. Both have opml import/export.

1. Blog lines let's you organize by category (hierarchial folders) and makes sharing of links (and blogrolls) easy. Google Reader let's you tag/label a feed into 1 or more categories, and sharing is currently limited to exporting an opml file.

2. Google Reader's interface is more ajax'ish which is always fun (as a user) -- esp combined with the tags/labels. Bloglines has been around much longer (and seems to have a lot of steady users).