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FeedBlitz Introduces OPML Reading List Email Syndications

Monday, March 13, 2006

As promised in yesterday's update, there are some new OPML features in FeedBlitz to tell you about.

FeedBlitz has offered OPML import, export and email subscriptions for a while now (a while being a month or two - that's ages in the "Web 2.0" world); we last talked about it here. As a reminder, OPML is an industry-standard way to organize outlines and lists. It's typically used to import and export lists of blogs and feed, hence the increasingly popular alternative name of "reading lists."

FeedBlitz now enables blog authors to syndicate OPML to subscribers by mail. OK, so what on earth does that mean, and why might you care?

When you syndicate an OPML file in FeedBlitz to email subscribers, it is treated in many ways just like a blog / RSS feed email syndication. You can track its metrics, set up a subscription sign-up form etc. The difference is that when you syndicate an OPML file, a subscriber to that syndication is automatically subscribed to all the feeds inside that file (and you, as a publisher, see all the RSS feeds in the file as syndications in your FeedBlitz dashboard).

So what? So you can bundle together multiple feeds (e.g. different corporate blogs, product line notices, industry journals, blog rolls, grade school reading-lists, iTunes feeds) into a single OPML file. Host that OPML file online and let your readers subscribe to that OPML file. They get one confirmation message - to confirm the OPML file subscription - but they are then subscribed to all the contained feeds (they can of course choose to unsubscribe from the individual feeds later on if they wish).

Better yet, if you add a new feed (book, blog, product, musician, podcast etc.) to the OPML file, the subscribers to that OPML file will be automatically subscribed to that new feed as well. The OPML file becomes a dynamic feed container to package any and all content together to your subscribers via email.

But wait, there's more. If you edit an OPML file's syndication details (say to make it private, or to truncate the text sent in an outbound email), all the feeds you syndicate that are currently in that OPML will be updated with the new settings. So they will all become private, or they'll all be truncated. OPML syndication therefore becomes a way to centrally organize and manage your email publications from a single point. And because you can have as many OPML syndications as you like, you can manage different groups of feeds one way, and other feeds another way if you wish.

So, in brief, FeedBlitz's OPML reading list syndication:
  • Is a great way to have user subscribe to a package of feeds in a single operation.
  • Automatically syndicates feeds to the OPML file's subscribers as new feeds are added.
  • Enforces consistency across the contained feeds.
Combine OPML syndication with master templates and you have an easy way to manage your email newsletters from soup to nuts. There's no need to limit OPML to import and export! Make your reading lists dynamic with a FeedBlitz OPML email syndication.



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