Squash has felt a little redundant of late. For a while there it seemed as if every blogger and his pet rock was going the snark route but I sense the flockosphere has started to get bored with snark, which means it's time for Squash to take out the big steel-capped boots again.
And what better place to start with than OPML. Today, the flockosphere is bleating with great gusto over Dane Winer's newest gift to the world Share Your OPML.
I've written before that RSS is going to struggle to go mainstream, well if RSS is still an edge-case technology than OPML long ago fell off the edge and is laying in a mangled mess at the bottom of the precipice.
If you're inclined go to Share Your OPML and let everyone delight in your RSS reading list. Go on, I'll wait here. Lord knows, I won't be following. Why on earth would I bother? What's in it for me to share what I read with the world. Wow, a couple of people might, maybe, perhaps subscribe to my reading list. Well my message to those people is, go find your own bloody reading list.
So much of what is supposedly cool about Web 2.0 is about being the same as everyone else. This is a recipe for reading list homogeny and its counter to everything that is good about the Internet.
So I log into Share My OPML and what do I get? The list of Top 100 sites. Well, just what I needed to expand my knowledge of cool, new feeds. Good job I logged into Share My OPML, otherwise I may not have known about TechCrunch.
People, it's not that hard to surf the web. Want to know what your favourite blogger reads. Well, chances are they have a blogroll and you can see what they read there.
So far, as I mentioned the blogosphere are in raptures. TechCrunch, Steve Rubel, Robert Scoble and other usual suspects give it rave reviews but then why wouldn't they. The come in at 1,3 and 26 respectively. It's a good marketing strategy to tout the service because you get YOUR readers to upload their OPML feeds, guaranteeing you rank well.
Of course, such circumstances will cease to hold true once the service gets critical mass. Quite a few bloggers have enthused about what one might do with Share Your OPML "once it gets critical mass".
I don't think it will get critical mass. Aside from for vanity reasons, which will give it an initial kick along from tragic bloggers, I just can't see why you'd both participating.
That said, I encourage all Squash readers to rush to the site now and upload your OPML cos we don't even have a single user as yet. I guess the good thing is now, I know who doesn't read Squash and I can begin a spam campaign targetted at all those ignoramuses to make them see the error of their RSS ways.
So, there you go, there is a practical use of the service!
(I'll be very interested to watch the Share My OPML numbers. If I'm right, they'll grow for about three days then hit a plateau. If nothing else, it will give a really, nice indicator as to the size of the net edge..)