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]