Microformats: Inbound Marketing

You are attending a trade show and you want to let people know, so they can sign up as well. All you have to do is go to the free hCalendar creator, put it your event information, and paste its HTML code into your web page.

Soon, browsers will be able to add a customized “Add to calendar” link next to this entry. That is possible because the computer now understands the event information. More impressively, search engines that index this page will also be able to add an “Add to calendar” link right on the search results page Imagine your web page standing out of the crowd with some customized, personal links for the user.
Microformats: Inbound Marketing for Computers

Greasemonkey

Microformats have now really started something, after a few years in the undergorund nerd-world. As usual, it takes the enthusiasts to keep things evolving, even when no immediate application can be worked out. Beyond the well-used rss microformat, which is used for general contnet syndication and aggregation, other microformats such as hcalendar and hcard are getting some attention. makedatamakesense.com offers proxy services, using firefox extensions todeliver this service.

Greasemonkey is a scripting language for firefox extensions, that has opened up browser development to the masses. I can now sort of see why some predict the end of search engines, if ll the onus of hunting will be down to browser effectiveness with extracting and processing microformat data. A simplistic view, as I still believe that search engines have a big part to play in the semantic web.

Output this!

Output this!

Category: Tool / service

Topic: Microformats

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

Content rating: 5 out of 5

Design rating: 5 out of 5

Navigation rating: 2 out of 5

This is the stuff of the web 🙂 OutputThis! is a part of the Structured Blogging initiative, Output this! provides is an API service to route your posts easily to aggregator applications.

Tags:

5552This is the stuff of the web 🙂 OutputThis! is a part of the Structured Blogging initiative, Output this! provides is an API service to route your posts easily to aggregator applications.microformat

Microformats and WordPress

structuredblogging

Category: Tool / service

Year created: 2006

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

Content rating: 3 out of 5

Design rating: 3 out of 5

Navigation rating: 4 out of 5

I am using the wordpress plugin version of the structured blogging application. In fact this post was created in hResume format. It adds choice from the default page or post options, and offers specific microformat options for reveiws, events, groups, people, audio, video, listings. There is also a MovableType plugin. Worth the download, as it ehances the post writing experience, and saves using individual microformat creation tool. Only thing that is missing for me is geo and hresume formats, but sure they are on the way …

Tags:

5334I am using the wordpress plugin version of the structured blogging application. In fact this post was created in hResume format. It adds choice from the default page or post options, and offers specific microformat options for reveiws, events, groups, people, audio, video, listings. There is also a MovableType plugin. Worth the download, as it ehances the post writing experience, and saves using individual microformat creation tool. Only thing that is missing for me is geo and hresume formats, but sure they are on the way …microformat

Microformats and APML

Up until recently I had been struggling with understanding microformats, those mysterious formats built in XHTML that several folks have been talking about passionately: promising everything from better search engine visibility to better structured code to a realization of true semantic markup. The reason for my struggles was that there were few actual examples of their utility, hCard, hCalendar, and Bud Gibson’s xFolk being interesting exceptions. The recent release of microformats.org drew a lot of interest, and since lately I’ve been taking a longer look at them, I decided to write a short introduction to the topic from my developer point of view, coming to the conclusion that microformats don’t offer enough incentives to jump on the bandwagon quite yet.

A Short Introduction to Microformats: a Stepping Stone on the Way to Semantic Markup, or a Distraction from It? (June 24th 2005)

Two years later, and microformats have matured, with formats that have specific purpose. Bar a few that border on hybrid data/design formats (XOXO), it is a subject that generally has managed to avoid hype machines. There is still misunderstanding about usage, for example many sites use RSS, OPML, Atom and XML options for feeds that contain exactly the same content, in different data formats. Each microformat has purpose.

apml

APML is newer format (visit facebook group), which makes sense in semantic web terms.

“Attention Profiling Markup Language”

All forms of Attention Data (from age old breadcrumbs like documents, browser history and IM conversations to more recent advances in Attention Data encapsulation like Attention.XML) are the raw building blocks that allow developers to track a user’s behaviour.

http://apml.pbwiki.com/

Imagine how easy it could be to visit a site like Digg or slashdot, and upload the apml file with all your browsing history and preferences, that have relevant content fed to you. At the end of your site browsing session, you can choose whether to export your apml with additions made by your current browsing. The user has an easier time, and more importantly retains the power to choose.

Most of the methods put forward as services contributing for a more intellgent web rely on centralisation and control of userrdata. What should be happenning is voluntary contribution of user information, that is easy read and manipulated by any web applications. APML is a format to save preferences in, similar but more flexible than the attention.xml format. There are other formats that cover most useful user data, go here to see more.

Though many balk at standards, feeling them to be yet another control freak measure, semantic web standards such as microformats retain the freedom on the web, and to provide informations to enable web applications to find and process that information quickly. I work in QA, and usually against much resistance that see QA processes as constrictive, but it is all about attitude. Sometimes processes and standards can help alleviate the stresses that chaos can bring. Although chaos is a positive force in development, it can be very destructive when it is applied to pure data.

Microformats

microformats

Now the web 2.0 buzz is settling down into business reality, further moves towards semantic web are crawling out of web 2.0 quagmire. It is easy to forget that web 2.0 was about a set of enabling technologies, and it is only now the hype has passed that these technologies are coming to the fore. Microformats – a term I had heard before, and is based on the sound principles of decentralising data control.

1. Markup should be as simple as possible.
2. Markup should be droppable into as many formats as possible.
3. Development should be decentralized.

Relax, Everything Is Intertwingled

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