Posted by: kurtsh | November 13, 2006

INFO: Internet Explorer 7.0 & Managing RSS Subscription Lists

One of the lesser known capabilities within IE7.0 is it’s ability to import and export RSS feed lists.

I, for one, have a list of 58 RSS feeds that I subscribe to.  It’s located on a Foldershare folder replica (see below for "What is Foldershare?") that I use and I direct any new RSS Reader installation to simply grab the list and import it into its configuration.  The list is rather important to me (more important in many respects than my Favorites list) because it contains not just sites that I like to read news and posts from, it contains RSS feeds that actually contain the FULL CONTENT (see below for "What is FULL CONTENT?") of the articles in the RSS feed.

RSS feed lists can be archived into an XML file for backup purposes called OPML or Outline Processor Markup Language.  It’s a way of making portable, among other things, all of the RSS feeds that you’ve setup in Internet Explorer 7.0.  To save and move your RSS feed list, you need to EXPORT your list to an .OPML file.  To do this in Internet Explorer 7.0:

  • Select the Tools icon & enable the Menu Bar.
  • Go to File->Import & Export on the Menu Bar.
  • Select "Export Feeds"

This will allow you to export/archive all your RSS feeds.  This is useful if you ever have to rebuild your browser configuration or you want to share your RSS feed list with someone else – regardless if they use IE7.0, FeedBurner, NewsGator, or some other RSS News reader.  OPML is a standard that everyone recognizes. 

You can in turn also IMPORT a RSS feed list/.OPML file in IE7.0 that you’ve saved or received from someone else by doing exactly the same thing:

  • Select the Tools icon & enable the Menu Bar.
  • Go to File->Import & Export on the Menu Bar.
  • Select "Import Feeds"

This is a great way to share RSS feeds between people or "see what it is that other people are monitoring and reading". 

I personally use a Pocket PC Phone & a Smartphone and I have a newsreader called Ilium Software’s Newsbreak that pulls in RSS feeds wirelessly at regular intervals using the data connection on the phone.  This allows me to read posts & articles EXTREMELY QUICKLY whenever I have a spare moment, without having to wait for the mobile browser to pull down article content, because in the newsreader… the content’s already been pulled down beforehand.

All I did was import my .OPML file from (my IE start page) into both IE7.0 & my Pocket PC’s newsreader and walla!  I get the same news on my phone as I do in Internet Explorer 7.0… except it’s totally portable, always with me, and up-to-date.

By the way, there are other Newsreaders out there but none as friendly and simple as Newsbreak.  This is truly a great Newsreading tool for Windows Mobile – both Pocket PC & Smartphone.  Check it out!  NEWSBREAK 1.2:


"What is Foldershare?"
Foldershare is an AMAZING free replication tool from Microsoft that you can freely install on all your computers – work, home, laptop – that, very simply, synchronizes file folders that you choose between systems.  It is a peer-to-peer replication technology that uses encrypted SSL-connections to sync allowing it pass through corporate firewalls and is incredibly useful for ensuring that your most important content is securely available on every computer you use.  It synchs up to 2GB of content in the background and supports "checkpoint restart" in the event you disconnect in the middle of a synch.  

Most importantly, it makes it very easy to sync:
– Favorites from Internet Explorer
– .PST Mail files from Outlook
– My Music, My Documents, My Pictures
…or any other folder you have.

On the topic of FULL CONTENT:  I hate RSS feeds that only contain article Subjects & 3 lines of content.  This is worthless to me.  There are sites like Infoworld’s Main Page feed that contain the entire article along with a graphical advertisement in the middle of this.  Infoworld – God Bless you.  I don’t mind the advertising as long as I get all the article content in the feed.


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