We strongly believe in data liberation and have therefore been offering an export feature for bookmarks and feeds almost since the beginning. Those options are great if you want to back up your data or if you would like to take your data to some other product (which we of course nevertheless hope you won’t choose to do).
Recently, we introduced two new methods to do more with your data: we now offer a very easy to use API to access page contents in RSS and OPML format. With this API, it is easy to for instance import your bookmarks into a WordPress blog or put a summary of all feeds of your favorite start.me news page and put it on your own start page. We’ll show you how to do this in a bit.
Bookmarks and feeds in OPML format
The OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) format has been around for quite a while but has remained largely unknown. In short, one might say OPML is to bookmarks what RSS is to news feeds. It provides a simple XML-based data format to store information about bookmarks. Many popular software packages provide OPML support, for instance WordPress and Firefox. An OPML file contains information about all bookmarks on a page as well as the URLs of the RSS feeds. The latter allows you to easily import all RSS feeds on a start.me page into your favorite desktop RSS reader.
To retrieve the OPML data for a specific (public) page, just add the
.opml extension to the URL of the page. Say you would like to get the OPML file for the US Shopping page on start.me: http://www.start.me/p/Vbod8Z/shopping-us. Just add
.opml to the URL and presto!
Do more with RSS
Even though not everyone will be familiar with RSS, chances are that you will somehow already use it. All news feeds displayed on start.me are syndicated using the RSS feed format. A cool thing you may not know is that every public start.me page has its own RSS-feed as well. This feed contains a mix of the last 100 news items that are displayed on the page.
This page RSS-feed can be used in many ways. You could for instance use an existing start.me news page (e.g. the Technology page) and integrate it in your own start page using a feed widget. Probably the easiest way to stay up-to-date! Or what about importing the latest news of feeds you select into your WordPress blog? Just use your start.me page to select the best feeds and import them all at once into your blog.
The RSS-feed for a page can be accessed simply by adding the
.rss extension to a page’s URL. For the Technology page, the RSS URL would thus be http://www.start.me/p/3yN7DV/technology.rss.
Taking RSS to the next level
Apart from news widgets, the contents of Notes widgets will be included in a page’s RSS-feed as well. This allows you to do all sorts of creative things. You could for instance set up a separate start.me page as a blog admin, adding a new Notes widget for every item you would like to publish. The page’s RSS-feed could be imported in a WordPress blog or syndicated to other sites. The notes will show in the RSS feed integrally and will be sorted based on the last modification time.
Try it yourself and share it with us
We hope you like to use start.me as a great personal start page. But for those who like to engage in a little experimenting and DIY, start.me offers some cool features as well. Let us know what you think about the OPML and RSS endpoints and let us know what interesting uses you have found for them!
- Author: Michiel de Wit