[uf-discuss] Very basic question that is not in the FAQ

Kevin Marks kmarks at technorati.com
Thu Jun 22 11:20:35 PDT 2006

On Jun 22, 2006, at 8:35 AM, Scott Reynen wrote:

> On Jun 22, 2006, at 9:46 AM, Tantek Çelik wrote:
>> Hamper compared to what?
> When I'm telling someone about microformats and they express concern 
> that Technorati might try to control microformats as Microsoft or 
> Google has been feared trying to control the web, or Apple trying to 
> control podcasting, or UserLand trying to control RSS, I believe the 
> answer influences people's interest in microformats.

The point of microformats is to give up control. Technorati genuinely 
believes that distributed open formats are more valuable than 
centralised closed ones, and that is a big reason why Tantek and I work 
here. I appreciate that this can be a difficult idea to get across, but 
the difficulty is with the idea of this kind of what Benkler calls 
'Comunity-based peer production' rather than with Technorati's 

> I try to point to the CC license.  I avoid a curt "that's just FUD" 
> (even if it is) because I find that insulting.  I find clarifying 
> ownership works well in one-on-one discussion and I think it would 
> work well on the website too.  If you disagree, fine.  I don't think 
> it's going to make a big difference in the long run, and I didn't mean 
> to suggest it would.  But I continue to believe clarifying ownership 
> in advance would be an improvement.

The problem may be that 'clarifying ownership' involves a digression 
into Open Source theory rather than a simple disclaimer. If you have a 
good way of explaining this do please share it.

As Eric said, the real test is the empirical one of adoption, and the 
goal of the microformats process and community is to converge practice 
and specification to amplify this.

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