Fun, check this out
The future is already here. Check out this active directory search result on OPMLsearch.com:
The search was for the term internet law, with no quotation marks, and returned the following URI:
What is this? It is an OPML
outline of an annotated bibliography. Because the outline is in OPML it can be carried into other OPML environments and edited, integrated, shared, tagged, etc. Try it. Take this OPML list into Dave’s OPML editor
, and check out your ability to modify it.
Where did this come from?
It came from a particular community of use at Harvard that is developing an outline-based way to share academic knowledge, but that was a closed island of information until it began outputing OPML a few days ago.
Now it has a connection to the world. Or rather, now it has openned up to the OPML community, and we can connect to it’s data, suck it into our systems, play with it and share it. Bravo!
FYI, here is a link to the most popular H2O playlists, to give you an example of what people have been doing
The work is quite interesting. It includes material from a wide range of contributors, on many topics. For example, it includes course descriptions the MIT Open Courseware project, for example. (Unfortunately the Open Courseware project has not yet adopted OPML output, but that won’t take long once they get the message..)
Technically, adding OPML output to the site was easy to do.
The rest is history. As soon as OPMLsearch.com started picking up the files, the knowledge based in this site became instantly available to the OPML community. And because the work is in the OPML format, it is easily tagged, mixed, extended, shared, etc.
In one specific case an ”H2O Playlist”–a knowledge sharing outline aka playlist–was created at a site at Harvard by John Palfrey.
Here is the H2O display of this playlist:
For comparison, the OPMLsearch active directory version is here.
What will they think of next?
Now, think of all the other communities of practice and repositories of knowledge that can be brought together in this simple manner.
The OPML is created as a byproduct of other activities and systems, in the background.
It is so easy and inexpensive to output OPML that the development and support requirements can be justified without knowing in advance how the OPML will be used.
And the beauty of OPML is that someone somewhere will start working right away on how to do something creative with your OPML output.
Personal reading lists..
Curriculum and reading lists, for example, from other universities..
Library card catalogues..