Find Some New Feeds Based on Your OPML

Posted: January 19, 2009 Comments(20)

It’s difficult to not let your mind wander when it comes to personal projects, and it’s even harder to make them a reality. I had a quick idea that has recently turned itself into a live site, and I wanted to give it a bit of a soft launch by linking here.

The quickest overview of the site is this:

  1. Export your OPML (RSS feeds you subscribe to)
  2. Upload to SuggestRSS
  3. Magic happens
  4. You’re provided with some feeds you just might like

If you could do me a huge favor and take a minute to upload your OPML for the sake of a bigger testing pool, I’d be greatly appreciative.

More details coming soon!

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  1. Pretty neat, but I have a few sites in my suggestions that I am already subscribed to.

    This reminds me a lot of the site What Should I Read Next?

  2. @Matthew: Yeah, I’ve been working each day on improving the duplicates issue. The best part is, you can bookmark your results URL and hit it at any time to see the latest suggestions based on your existing OPML and use up to date database information. I’ve never heard of “What Should I Read Next” before, thanks for the mention!

    @Ole: The service should indeed work with any properly formatted OPML file. The main issue at this point would be a lack of foreign users, so your suggestions may be a bit biased toward which users you have feeds in common with.

    @Matt Brett: Thanks a lot Matt! I hope to improve things over the next few weeks, especially speed issues that have cropped up.

    @Chris: I can’t believe the site was written about in ReadWriteWeb, thanks for the link! I’ve made some updates last night and the night before that should definitely help with the issue of duplicates. Check out your results!

  3. If I’m not mistaken, the suggestions will change over time. At least the page suggested to me that I should bookmark it. Since 100% of the users have RSS, wouldn’t an RSS feed of suggested new feeds be better than a bookmark?

  4. I have two problems at the moment: the testing pool, and the suggestions offered.

    I subscribe to a mix of technology, design, politics around the world, game discussion, urban issues, some comics, and about a dozen other feeds that don’t slot into those categories.

    The only two types of suggestions I get are for tech and design or closely related such as software design (+ the xkcd comic). I understand that’s an issue related to the likely people to sign up, but it’s still a little annoying.

    The other problem is that all of the feeds I’m offered are ones that I’ve previously checked out and rejected as not interested. It would be nice to have a simple way to “reject” the suggestion, and have the program factor that in to future results (i.e. it calculates based on what I subscribe to, and which suggestions I rejected).

    However, it’s obviously early days and I love the idea.

  5. @Bemmu: Absolutely, providing an RSS feed of your suggestions is on the list of features to add.

    @Electric Monk: Thank you very much for your feedback. Your sentiments are very similar to those of many other users, and I have a few ideas that I plan on incorporating to avoid such frustrations. I definitely sympathize with your annoyance. The main inspiration of the site, however, was as a result of my questioning of the possibility that I was missing out on some extensively popular feeds simply because I hadn’t run into it yet, but everyone else did. The algorithm is completely based on the “popularity” of a feed, so finding targeted outliers wasn’t in the original game plan. I’ve got some ideas as to how I can work that type of functionality in, however, so I hope you stay tuned. Thank you again for taking the time to provide valuable feedback, I appreciate it very much.

  6. Any possibility you’ll be including an API? I’m developing an aggregator (in PHP funnily enough), and it’d be awesome to be able to offer this to users.

  7. @Matt: Sorry for the delay in getting the site back online. There was an initial push in traffic which really caused some headaches. I’ve just this morning re-opened submissions, and also added a new feature allowing you to traverse your results by finding some less likely feeds that may be a diamond in the rough. I didn’t plan on SuggestRSS taking off so quickly, and although that’s not a terribly good excuse, I’m going to try to budget my time a bit better to allow more attention to making it better over the coming months.

    @Ryan McCue: I would love to offer an API, but at this point I’m going to have to focus on stability and speed issues until traffic starts to level off. I’ll jot down your email address and be sure to send you a note as soon as any API functionality is added.

  8. hi Jonathan,

    I uploaded my OPML, it seemed to take, but after the upload … nothing happened. I was left to stare at the home page, with no suggestions. Expectations unfulfilled. ;o)

    Any ideas?

  9. @Brandon: Terribly sorry to hear that! Usually the cause of that issue is uploading an OPML which the server thinks contains no feeds. If you’re willing, you can go ahead and email me your OPML, jonathan at mondaybynoon, and I’ll take a closer look. It would also be very helpful if you could include your feed reader as well as the steps you took to generate your OPML.

  10. @Adam Wulf: I’m working hard with two other guys to get a dedicated server set up and running. From there we’ll migrate the data and begin work on a few new features. Unfortunately we’re quite preoccupied with some long standing projects and we’re only able to work on SuggestRSS in our free time. I’ll be sure to post any updates to Twitter (@jchristopher) if you’d like up-to-the-minute updates!

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