Notes on Structured Content

Post ImageTime for another session – Dickson and Megan have gone to a different one this time. Oh, and I notice Scoble’s tablet is actually a newer model than mine (I think…larger screen too). Here are some notes on Bryan Rieger’s session on structured content (this is essentially a Semantic Web concept):

  • Very interesting use of lego to represent how structured blogging produces blocks. Say a block for the title, one for the text, one for tags (which are already a microformat), etc.
  • Microformats: designed for humans first, machines second. Keep it as simple as possible. Solve a specific problem.
  • Developers: support both commas and spaces!
  • Typically a structured blog post looks the same as any other post, which is good for users.
  • Why bother? Some reasons: search, commerce, and many other things we haven’t begun to think of yet…
  • Current structured content types: licenses, tags, reviews, lists, calendars, events, media, people, organizations, etc.
  • Some places to check out are http://microformats.org and http://structuredblogging.com.
  • The tools have to support these formats, and for the user, entering these things has to be quick and easy!
  • We’re creating this content for humans, so why the effort in creating something for machines? Well, one person says it makes presentation much simpler, across various machines and interfaces.
  • Boris Mann suggests this is all about accessibility, and again, the tools have to support it.
  • Bryan says a larger problem than tools support, is why would people do this? We need to get people to want to do this!
  • Are we extending blogging or RSS? Bryan says neither.
  • Someone mentioned that there’s a project to create a structured version of Atom, so you wouldn’t need an RSS feed, as it would essentially be built in. I assume you just throw a stylsheet in front of the Atom document for browser rendering.
  • Interesting discussion about how HTML has already gotten us so far, perhaps the solution to structured content is simple…
  • Scoble thinks the “way in” for structured content is with maps, allowing a blogger to put a review on a map at a specific address.

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