[uf-discuss] FYI: Jeff Jarvis on microformats and Google Base

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Tue Nov 22 13:55:58 PST 2005

On Nov 22, 2005, at 2:50 AM, Jon Tan wrote:
> ...
>> I think they've already said no to this and I don't think they  
>> need a special invitation.
> Have they said no outright?

Personally, I don't care. Of course:

>> Of course, if anyone here has contact at Google,  you should bug  
>> them incessantly until they implement µf's. :D

>> Also, we have a good number of formats that need work. It'd be  
>> nice  to move some alone, rather than just starting new efforts.
>>> The issue of an API and whether it is closed or open may be   
>>> depreciated if the data that Google Base will hold is in   
>>> Microformats and could possibly be aggregated in other ways  
>>> anyway?  Supporting MFs input and output may also, in the long  
>>> run, be a way  for GBase to be more comprehensive and useful.
>> This is, of course, for google to decide.
> ...with perhaps a little encouragement on every level.

I encourage every googler I meet (which is many levels). There are  
definitley googlers interested in µf's, but there's only so much we  
can do.

>>> ...
> Searching for products, property and jobs could be revolutionised  
> by MFs and immensely valuable for all users, whether they know what  
> the blogosphere is or not.

No one would disagree with you here. In fact if you'd read the  
archives and/or the wiki, you'd see that a good deal of discussion  
and research has been put towards this purpose already (see http:// 
microformats.org/wiki/listing-examples and http://microformats.org/ 

> If it was ever seriously suggested that until current ones are in  
> widespread use others should be on hold or not be discussed it  
> would be unfortunate.

I'm just saying that we could use help with moving along current  

>>> ...
> Don't confuse enthusiasm for a potential result with critisism of  
> the here and now. At Grow we are implementing MFs unilaterally and  
> will get to experimenting with apps in time and are willing to work  
> with the community on any level to facilitate other development.

That's great.

> In the meantime in regard to the GBase question my point was that  
> they have their app now. I don't think there's a need to compete  
> but for any possible faults it may have in relation to open data  
> formats, GBase will no doubt appeal to non technical users outside  
> the blogosphere and perhaps MFs need to do the same somehow or at  
> some point?

Of course µf's need to expand outside the blogosphere. Just not  
today. We're still in an early adopter stage- and that's ok, because  
this is how it always works. Someday soon, someone around here will  
build a killer-app that will enable my mom to use µf's (even if she  
doesn't understand, still). Until then, I'm not worried.

> ....
>> We taking on a lot of things with microforats - entrenched   
>> technologies, companies and ways of thinking. I don't think we  
>> should  add media hacking to that list.
> I don't think that awareness building and positive engagement with  
> mainstream media who possibly represent a significant webview held  
> by end-users is media hacking. It goes to my view that if non-open  
> formats like GBase pose a problem then supporting MFs from both  
> sides is logical: Encouraging the participation and implementation  
> by authors and technologists. Then also identifying the problems  
> non-technologist end-users currently encounter and showing how MFs  
> could help solve them.

FWIW, we're already doing this last part, just not in the media.

> It doesn't require a killer app but an explanation of the features,  
> benefits and incentives by fictional case study for journalists,  
> non-techies and organisations might help. I'd also be willing to  
> contribute towards this if folks think it would be useful?

I just don't see journalists being able to help us that much. We're  
doing pretty well without much press coverage.

Now having said that, I see nothing wrong with people preparing press  
material, if you're interested.

>> There's many other things you can do  to help:
>> 1. publish microformats
>> 2. write tools which use microformats
>> 3. educate people about microformats
>> 4. research and develop new formats
> Currently doing or trying.


Ryan King
ryan at technorati.com

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