Attention.xml is an open standard to track attention metadata such as what you read and what you would like to learn more about. So far there has been a lot of talk around the idea and what it could mean for synchronization, resource discovery, and social networking. Technorati and Steve Gillmor have talked about the idea but there has been no implementation to show how you could use this open format with existing applications such as web browsers and feed aggregators to make sense out of your daily activity. Until now.
I wrote an AppleScript that exports all of your NetNewsWire subscribed feeds and followed items within the feed to the Attention.xml format. The output can be saved locally or stored on Technorati’s servers if you have created a Technorati account. Right now the script outputs to a new TextEdit window but I would like to add local storage as well as XML-RPC support for Technorati’s AttentionQuery or post your attention data to a weblog. The output is valid XHTML and can be integrated with existing web pages or wrapped in some extra tags for a stand-alone web page.
This AppleScript is only third AppleScript I have ever written, so modifications and suggestions are most welcome. You are welcome to reuse the code with attribution and please share alike. I use NetNewsWire but you could also apply a lot of the same code to other aggregators with an AppleScript library. The NetNewsWire library does not seem to expose a subscription’s export setting so every feed in NetNewsWire will be exported even if you have setup feeds for exclusion from NetNewsWire export.
Grab the tarball and extract. Inside the tarball is a standalone application as well as the script. If you would like to use the script you need to place it in your user directory under Application Support > NetNewsWire > Scripts and restart NetNewsWire before you can choose the script from the NetNewsWire AppleScript menu.
Another AppleScript I spent five minutes writing was a runner-up in the 2004 Technorati Developer’s Contest.