Microformats, from your blog

So, you write about an upcoming event, so that your readership will know about it. Some read it, some miss it. The online event aggregators never heard about your weblog, and when they scanned it, they saw nothing but regular HTML.

[Structured Blogging](http://structuredblogging.org/) has the tools to help those aggregators. By enhancing your “Write Post” page to also include “Write Event”, “Write Review”, this plugin enables you to invisibly present events and reviews as such to robots.

[Microformats](http://www.microformats.org/) are about having **structured data** (such as a review “3/10 for lousy Ice Age 2”, or an event “Battle of the Hackers, all weekend at Peach Pit”) **inside the regular HTML**. Data inside this pattern can be picked up by robotic visitors to your site, to be aggregated, and re-presented elsewhere.

Why do it now? If you have some kind of review site. If you have a list of important business cards that should face the world. Or, if you just want some added meta-data to your lists. But what if you don’t have those things?

[Jeremy Keith](http://adactio.com/) and I talked about the cite attribute on blockquote elements in HTML. Not often used. Javascript People are more keen to use these things, because understand just how valuable that extra information can be, when some additional scripting has been added to a webpage. A page with microformats added looks just like ordinary text, without extra styling or scripting added. Some effort is needed, if you want the presence of the metadata to “stand out”.

Is the following true? “The people who can see future value in not-currently-valuable stuff, they have a (theoretical) responsibility to tell others about it, at least.”

The weblog on Structured blogging says it clearly: it’s not about responsibility, it’s about getting value yourself, from your own data. Sharing is cool, but value for me is what’ll draw others in as well.

I came to think about these things after I’d talked with [Ben Griffiths](http://www.reevoo.com/blogs/bengriffiths/) at [Reevoo](http://www.reevoo.com/) who aggregates product reviews. Talking to Jeremy Keith, about hContact cards was also inspiring.

Published by Olle Jonsson

Human. Wears glasses and often a smile.

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