[uf-discuss] Re: Microformats for Q&A sites

Gideon Greenspan research at gidgreen.com
Wed Jan 20 22:45:40 PST 2010


Thanks a lot for your reply. I thought I'd reply to the mailing list for now, since some of this might be of general interest.

>> For example, a question page (that also shows related answers) will
>> be a series of CLASS="hentry" elements. Some other elements that work
>> well: entry-title, entry-content, rel=tag, published and author.
> To clarify, hAtom [1] specifies a standard for episodic content.
> `hentry` is, in a sense, on par with `entry-title`, `entry-content`,
> and the others. `hentry` alone is normatively meaningless without the
> specified required properties - check out the cheatsheet [2] for a
> quick reference if you haven't already.
> [1]: http://microformats.org/wiki/hatom
> [2]: http://microformats.org/wiki/hatom-cheatsheet

Yes, I've been implementing hAtom as much as possible. In social Q&A sites (like Stack Overflow, which you mention), a question is analogous to a forum thread, which is episodic content, so that's how I'm structuring the microformats for Question2Answer. But I also need to indicate (a) - (c) immediately below, which don't appear to have any place in hAtom.

>> For example: (a) to denote that a particular hentry is a question
>> or an answer, (b) to flag one particular answer as the one that was
>> selected as the best, (c) to show the net total of votes (any ±
>> integer) received by a question or answer.
> Check out the Q&A brainstorming [4], contribute in that dimly lit
> corner, and elicit feedback here rather than poking at hAtom's spec.
> Also consider using vote-links [5] via fragment identifiers. Confirm
> the feasibility of that method via the spec. "Best" and "total"
> shouldn't be too difficult to determine algorithmically once votes are
> represented.
> [4]: http://microformats.org/wiki/question-answer-brainstorming
> [5]: http://microformats.org/wiki/vote-links

Thanks - I wasn't aware of those two pages, and I'll see what I can contribute to the Questions and Answers brainstorming page. Unfortunately vote-links doesn't look suitable, since I don't want to reveal *who* voted on questions and answers, just the aggregate information.

> Lastly, mark up your home page with a representative hCard [6] and a
> `rel-me` to your LinkedIn. Then implement the hAtom (and associated
> hCard) semantics on said Q&A pages and do similar for the user pages,
> validate everything, and don't hesitate to come back with questions or
> feedback related to non-standard pursuits.
> [6]: http://microformats.org/wiki/representative-hcard

Thanks - I'll look into that too. Another issue is that there are a bunch of important statistics on the user pages, that a Q&A search engine could use to build a reputation rating. Examples: number of questions/answers posted, number of votes given/received, total points. These are natural candidates for microformats, but I couldn't find any kind of prior work on this that I can draw on.

Best regards,


Gideon Greenspan

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