Collate dozens of RSS feeds from one page (Something For The Weekend #16)

Here’s a very useful tool if you come across an article that gives you a whole bunch of RSS feeds you’d like to subscribe to – or, indeed, if you’re writing such a post yourself.

Nicholas Rapp’s post on recommended infographics feeds is what got me started on this. Wasn’t there an easier way than copying every single URL into my RSS reader?

There was: OPMLBuilder.

OPMLBuilder takes a webpage, finds all the RSS feeds listed, and allows you to create an OPML file with it.

(An OPML file is basically a list of RSS feeds in a format that makes it easy for RSS readers to import and export. If you wanted to change RSS reader, for example, without losing your RSS feeds you could do so by exporting your feeds as an OPML file and then importing them into your new RSS reader. You can import numerous OPML files without losing older imports)

This is how OPMLBuilder works:

  1. Enter the URL of the webpage with the RSS feeds (make sure it is the individual post rather than a blog homepage)
  2. Click Get Links – the box below will be filled with a list of RSS feeds
  3. You’ll probably have to edit that box to remove unwanted RSS feeds – e.g. those from the site hosting the post. The best way is to find the first RSS feed you wanted and delete everything before it; then find the last RSS feed you wanted, and delete everything after it.
  4. Click Create OPML
  5. A new page will be created which doesn’t look like much – it will be blank apart from a line like ” Created by FeedShow OPML Builder: Mon, 06 Jul 2009 11:01:12 +0200″ (if you have a browser which doesn’t like XML it may not display at all). However, this is the OPML file – you can see the real content by right-clicking and selecting ‘View Page Source’ (or similar)
  6. Save the page to your computer as you would any other webpage.

If you were writing the list of RSS feeds for a post yourself you could skip steps 1 and 2 and just type the links directly into the second box (although it may be easier to publish, then get the links in the normal way). You can then include a link to the OPML file on your post.

In case you want to know how to create an OPML file of your blogroll, there’s some info here.

In case you need to know, this is how you then import an OPML file into an RSS reader:

  1. Go into Settings (top right in Google Reader)
  2. Click on the Import/Export tab
  3. Click on Choose File
  4. Find the OPML file you’ve just saved and click Open
  5. Click up Upload
  6. You should now be subscribed to all the infographics feeds in that file

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