It's all starting to fall into place

It's all starting to fall into place.

When the researchers and tool vendors hook up with the content providers and entreprenuers, new kinds of micro-content will flourish.  We all need to work together to first establish standardized micro-content types, then we should make sure this stuff can be subscribed to via Echo-Atom-PIE AND RSS 2.0 (if possible.)  Finally – shared public servers need to established – so multiple tools can all contribute.  Remember Brewster Kahle has offered us infinite storage and bandwidth. 

Reviews, resumes, conversations, media – even people – will all become interoperable micro-content.  Even the term blogging or blog item will become outmoded.

So what's the right terminology?

Here's Seb's latest – reacting to Phil – pointing at Alf…..

Structured/semantic blogging: the road ahead. There's been increasing activity in the last half-year or so around the theme of structured/semantic blogging. Phil offers a very insightful post here, concisely capturing the motivation for getting this stuff up and running:

What's a structure-enhanced blog item?

Packages of structured data are becoming post components.

The virtue of blogs has been their simplicity. Each post only needs one field, and maybe a title and url.

Not everyone is served well by this lowest common denominator. Sometimes you have a burning need for more structure, at least some of the time.

When you know a subject deeply, and your observations or analysis recur, you may be best served by filling in a form. The form will have its own metadata and its own data model.

Phil includes a link to the intriguing qlogger service, which I had not seen before. Qlogger already offers a number of  structured blogging options.  And  the still mysterious Lafayette project is apparently aiming at the same honeypot of distributed, collaboratively built databases.

Best of all, Phil gives a plausible scenario in which several different structured blogpost formats gradually spread across the net through autodiscovery. Future blogging tools may well allow us to manage a personalized set of formats that we can easily choose from with each new post. Ordinary, amorphous posts will remain the default for freeform content that doesn't fit a template.

I think this is spot on.  My own thinking efforts in that direction can be found in the piece Towards Structured Blogging; Alf Eaton's neat Blaxm! reviews exchange brings some of those ideas into concrete form. [Seb's Open Research] [Marc's Voice]

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