Cross-posted from the Particls blog.
In the past few days we have had a number of VIP’s get their hands on the Limited Alpha. One of these people reported that importing his OPML file failed!
We were a little agasp at this because we have imported basicaly every OPML file we could get our hands on – and they all worked fine (well, except for the one Chris broke – but he breaks everything).
I decided the only way I was going to be able to determine what caused the bug is by checking out the contents of the offending OPML file. Which means, asking for it!
At this point, I was a desperate man. And to be honest we (both) were pretty uncomfortable asking someone for their OPML file/s. In my eyes, it’s kind of like asking someone how much money they earn. It’s just not cricket!
But knowing there was no alternative we had to bite the bullet… and ask. Lucky for us, the person in question kindly obliged. And as yet, hasn’t ram raided our houses – which is a good sign. 😉
The whole experience has got me thinking about the Syndication Security Concerns. After all, if OPML becomes what we all feel it should then a person’s OPML file/s are sacred. It’s important for developers, publishers and especially marketing people to respect the sanctity of a user’s OPML. People found a way to bastardise email (spam anyone?) and it’s important to keep this in the focus while the “Syndication Revolution” gathers speed.
I’m not trying to sully the innocence of RSS before it becomes a mainstream communication technology, nor do I even offer any constructive suggestions. I only offer the thought that I think it’s a perfect opportunity for us (as ‘sort-of-early’ adopters) try to keep our eyes on security for the user – to come up with measures to safe-guard people and their ‘lord –of-the-rings-precious’ Attention data.