ecommerce was Re: [uf-discuss] Principles of Microformats?

Benjamin West bewest at
Sat Dec 16 02:33:06 PST 2006

I was particularly interested in a part of your reply:

On 12/16/06, Mike Schinkel <mikeschinkel at> wrote:
> > > 17.) Inspired by needs of Bloggers and blog-related services
> > Use cases involving bloggers are easy to come up with,
> > however I started working on microformats before I had a
> > blog!  Anyway, I suspect blogger-based use cases are good
> > because they are so user-centric.  It is certainly not the
> > focus of microformats, I think.
> However, a blogging aggregator/search engine is funding time spent my the
> leads of the process, so there will inevitably be subtle biased towards
> bloggers, even if they try not to because those are the use cases they
> identify as having value. For example, use-cases which enable e-commerce
> companies to exchange data with their vendors and suppliers is not on their
> radar.

This is extremely interesting.
I'm only vaguely familiar with some e-commerce issues.  You may find
that the the early creators of microformats, because of a relatively
common background, may simply not have enough exposure to this kind of
thing.  I believe most of the earlier members of the community work
for search companies or other large websites, or even makers of web
browsers and web technology, and not many are familiar with ecommerce.
 I've also noticed that many of the more successful technologies I can
think of first implemented use cases with user-centric data: people,
places, things, times, and events.  That doesn't mean other use cases
aren't of interest to the community.  It simply means that time and
energy are limited, and people tend to spend most of it on things they
are good at.

Can you elaborate a bit more on these kinds of use cases?  Are there
some basic categorizations of ecommerce?  What are the common things
sites need to do? Where and how do they need to talk with other
systems?  High level answers are good.


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