[uf-discuss] Goods and Products microformat

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Mon Dec 5 11:08:57 PST 2005

On Dec 5, 2005, at 9:47 AM, kenny heaton wrote:

> I work for a hardware manufacturer and as I think about microformats
> and how to use them, one of the first things that comes to mind is a
> way do describe our products. I've searched around a bit and haven't
> found any examples of a standard way to describe
> goods/products/merchandise and feel this would be very valuable. I did
> find this on using RSS to syndicate a catalog of items which I see as
> a good next step after there is a way to describe individual items.
> http://ifindkarma.typepad.com/relax/2004/07/catablog.html
> The way I see it there are two approaches; a format for generally
> describing anything and everything form houses to pin-cushions, or a
> format for each type of product (example, a house description format,
> a car discretion format, etc..)

The words "anything and everything" make me think "open-ended  
problem," which makes me think that a microformat may not be feasible.

Specific formats for specific products seems to be more the  
Microformat Way (TM).

> Since there is now way to keep up with the amount things that there
> are to describe, I think having a general format is a good idea. I
> know general considered bad, and specific is better so I would
> appreciate feed back on this thought, but I can't think of any other
> way to allow someone to describe the what-cha-ma-call-it they just
> invented. I also think that specific formats for describing common
> things is needed, so someone can easily compare two DVD players for
> example. So things like houses, cars, electronics etc.. might have a
> more specific microformat derived form the genial product format, that
> describes them more specifically.
> My first thoughts are that most all product have a set of basic
> information in common: a name, a summary including a description of
> use, a list of specific features, manufacturer or re-seller name, and
> copyright or legal information.

Ironically, the basic schema sounds alot like hreview [http:// 

Could product listings be like reviews by the manufacturer/seller?

> These are just my first thoughts, and I feel there is a real need for
> this, but I would love to hear what others think, or if anyone know of
> something along these lines.

I'm sure there's tons of prior art, but very little in terms of  
widely adopted formats. There's already been some reasearch done on  
"listings" (where the use-case is more craigslist-like):


Have a look and see what you can contribute.

Ryan King
ryan at technorati.com

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