Importing Data

People have data in thousands of formats and just as many locations. It’s a constant problem trying to figure out what ways for data importation are most effective and cover the widest audience. Here are some thoughts on various, possible, formats:

  • OPML – Based on my last entry, this is a no-brainer and will definitely be supported.
  • Email – A little less obvious, but definitely important. Ideas frequently come in the form of discussion (and possibly within emails). Being able to forward your email discussions seems rather important. Additionally, emailing a bulleted list of items to a specified email address also makes sense. Quickly add things to your outlines without ever visiting the web site.
  • Mobile/SMS – Support for Mobile devices seems to be making a comeback, and with good cause. If you’re ‘out and about’ and what to jot some quick ideas down, you’ll want to use the medium that’s within grabbing distance. Maybe some sort of catch-all email address for your thoughts could be useful.
  • Word – If we have any hope of reaching out into the corporate world, we’re going to have to support the tools that they use, one of which is Word. At the same time, students writing papers also use Word. This was one of the original intentions of this tool (and still highly applicable), importing your paper outline and seeing where other people cite the same sources as you, or even if they interpret them differenly from you.

Needless to say, OPML will be in the first release, without a doubt. There’s still some discussion as to which of the other ones will make it into the first release. More on that soon.

Posted: May 12th, 2005

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