The XML Life Feed

by Mike Shea on 12 July 2008

The Short:

Subscribe to my new aggregate Life Feed for my latest blog, twitter, flickr, netflix, amazon, shared google reader items, and evernote updates.

The Long:

Like Leo Laporte, I'm a "joiner". When I hear that there's some crazy new social networking tool like Twitter, social website like Facebook, digital capture program like "Evernote", or other such nonsense, I automatically sign up for it.

The problem is, no one will ever bother to track me on any new site I join. I'm lucky if people even bother to read my blog. It also bothers me that all of the data I may put into this new tool will be lost. There's no good way to archive the data we post on all our various social websites and content applications.

So how can I make it easy for people to keep up with my online stuff regardless of the tool I use? And how can I archive these data so they're not lost if I ever leave these new tools?

One common criteria for all of these new tools is that they all support RSS. Every one of them has a feed of my latest postings. So why not combine them all into a single aggregate web feed independent of any one tool?

I found my salvation with Yahoo Pipes. Yahoo Pipes allows me to feed in a whole pile of RSS feeds and aggregate them into a single feed. It can properly sort them, format them, and post them to a single RSS URL. Every time I join a new site or find a new service, I can add it in as a source and it will show up with everything else.

I call this the Life Feed: a single RSS feed of my digital life. Currently it contains my blog, Flickr photos, latest Netflix rentals, public Evernote notes, Google Reader Shared Items, Twitter posts, and Amazon Wish List items. If I suddenly build a Tumblr blog, I could add it to the feeds and presto, it would show up in the feed. I'm using a local cron job to download my yahoo pipes feed locally to Mikeshea.net every 15 minutes.

Using RSSfwd.com I am able to email myself every new item that shows up. This way it is stored in my gmail and is downloaded to my Mac using Apple's "Mail". That gives me a remote searchable archive and a local searchable archive.

So if you care about what I'm up to, subscribe to http://mikeshea.net/lifefeed.xml today!

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