Subscribe To My Brain

Over Thai food last week, Geoff and I were chatting about subscribing to RSS feeds for all of a person’s outputs. No just blogging but bookmarking, listening and other activities.
Its a topic that’s seen some previous discussion. I’ve written about my life in RDF, Jo Walsh has discussed externalising absolutely everything and Morten Frederiksen maintains his own personal planet feed which is similar to John Resig’s Life as RSS plans. Of course there’s also MeNow which aims for a more real-time view of someone’s activities. Feedburner’s ability to splice RSS feeds into a single synthetic feed operates in a similar area.
Geoff had a nice phrase for this: Subscribing to someone’s brain. As he notes in his blog entry, the problem is in discovering someone’s output then getting to the point where its easy to add to an RSS aggregator.
I’ve taken an initial stab at implementing this by writing a little JSP page that, given a FOAF URL and an mbox_sha1sum, produces an OPML document listing all the RSS channels seeAlso’d from that document. This OPML feed can then be imported directly into an aggregator.
The URL is this:
and here’s a live example.
Here’s a quick and dirty form that’ll help you along. This was just a lunchtime hack, so its still very rough. An autodiscovery bookmarklet would be nice also.
To add data to your FOAF document to enable people to use this service, you need to add sections like the following within your foaf:Person description:

<rss:channel rdf:about="">
<dc:description> bookmarks as
an RSS 1.0 news feed</dc:description>

See my FOAF file for a number of examples.
Once you’ve done this you an add a new button to your blog: My brain via OPML

One thought on “Subscribe To My Brain

  1. I’m trying to subscribe to your brain

    Leigh’s beaten me to it very slightly by making this post which explains how to convert seeAlso’s to an OPML file.
    I’ve gone about it a different way.
    I now use FeedOnFeeds as my aggregator. I’ve hacked it to do FOAF autodetection of the website …

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