The site is straightforward enough – you register and you upload your OPML file – this is generally an export of the feeds you are subscribed to in your feed reader. The more geeky OPML users may have lots of OPML files corresponding to different reading lists or interests.
Why is this of interest to anyone? Well for one thing, looking at my Feedburner stats, I can see I have around 500 subscribers to this blog but I have no idea who they are. However, if any of them upload their OPML file to Share Your OPML, I will be able to see immediately that they are subscribed to my feed and therefore I get a better idea of who my subscribers are.
Right now, according to Share Your OPML I have 3 subscribers (ignoring myself!) – but check out who they are –
Other functionality includes the ability to see people with similar reading patterns to yourself – there are great possibilities for cross-pollination here.
You can always upload your OPML and decide not to let people see who you read but if you do that, you won’t get the most from the site. According to Mike Arrington, feed by feed sharing is being added to the application very shortly. In the meantime, if you have some feeds which you would rather not let people know you read (for competitive reasons, or whatever) then you would be better off removing them from your OPML file before uploading it.
In his review Mike also says says:
If tools are added that make SYO [Share Your OPML] the easiest place to manage your OPML (including adding feeds, removing feeds, batch operations, categorization/tagging, etc.), some of the more openminded RSS readers may start to allow customers to store their OPML at SYO instead of with the reader. SYO would become a sort of central registry of peopleâ€™s OPML files.
While Steve Rubel, in his review, reckons:
Share Your OPML needs the big aggregators to support it. You should have the option in Bloglines, Newsgator, My Yahoo, WIndows Live and the Google Reader to automatically share all or some of your feeds on this site.
If this happens (and I bet it will) Share Your OPML will become an essential tool for marketers. We will use it to understand which feeds have the greatest attention. Further, if it incorporates community tagging, watch out. It might be just the killer app we desperately need to break out influential blogs in different verticals.
One thing it is missing is RSS feeds for the results so I can subscribe to see who is subscribed to my feeds!