Friday, September 18, 2009

microformats

this was an interesting podcast...

Talking with Kingsley Idehen about mastering your own search index « Jon Udell:

"Every business, and increasingly every person, presents some kind of home page to the world. On those pages you will find, implied but not clearly stated, one or both of the following kinds of assertions:

1. Things I offer.

2. Things I seek.

A plumber, for example, may offer hydronic heating services, and may seek an assistant with certain qualifications. By encoding these kinds of assertions as subject-verb-object triples we could, in theory, build a semantic web that matches seekers and finders more efficiently than the current searchable web can. But that first step was always doozy. Writing the assertions required an XML syntax which has never become a web mainstay.

There are other ways to write them, however. Using an approach called RDFa, you can embed them directly into human-readable web pages. This isn’t a new idea. A decade ago, in my book Practical Internet Groupware, I showed how CSS class attributes could do double duty within a web page, governing style while also conveying meaning. In 2003 I was still experimenting with the idea, which I then called microcontent. Nowadays the term is microformats.

Although we’ve heard plenty about this idea over the years, it has yet to bear fruit."