Structured blogging - and introduction and the implications
By Charlene Li
Salim introduced me to the idea of structured blogging, which is an open standard to put structure around currently free-form blog posts. There's a site dedicated to this idea at structuredblogging.org, and it puts the opportunity quite well:
"We believe that if more information could be structured, a whole new set of tools and concepts could be created."
There's already a plug-in for WordPress that allows those users to create structured blog posts. Here are a few examples that Salim shared with me. My favorite example: A DVD review for Lord Of The Rings, with a link over to an Amazon affiliate account to buy the movie.
- Local search: Right now, if you want to write a business review, you have to do it in a proprietary format on a service like Yahoo! Local or Citysearch. But what if I could put a review up of my favorite crepe restaurant on my blog and have it appear on multiple sites? It throws proprietary content to the wind, but they all could benefit from better content being made available -- Google Local already seeks and compiles restaurant reviews from multiple sources.
- Classifieds: This is already "structured", especially in the case of companies that create a structured feed of their job openings to send to job boards like Monster.com. But imagine if I'm selling a car (which I am) and the ability to have it picked up by a specialized search engine for used cars (think of Indeed.com or SimplyHired for the auto market). Repeat for apartments, event tickets, and real estate -- look out, local MLS!
Overall, I think structured blogging is a great idea -- I see it as a way to extend the traditional "lists" on people's social networking profiles to include personal reviews. It also has some interesting implications for the "ownership" of the data -- especially if individuals start putting their reviews and items for sale in a centralized location rather than on individual services.
John Battelle also has an interesting post about what PubSub is doing in their approach to creating more structure around feeds.
What do you think -- would you use structured blogging on your own blogs or as part of an online profile?