[microformats-discuss] Re: Educationg Others

Chris Hibbert chris at commerce.net
Wed Oct 5 14:02:31 PDT 2005

> Ok, the long tail idea is not just about the case of 3 people who post
> a picture of their albino cat jumping over a fence while wearing a
> sombrero, versus the 10,000 people doing the same. It is about those
> first 3 people, plus the 4 fence-jumping fedora-wearing albino cats,
> plus the 2 fence-jumping fedora-wearing black-and-white cats...the
> aggregated total of all of which may be well into the millions.

Amazon, Netflix, and eBay didn't make it big because they had separate 
categories and formats for each of the tiny niches in books, movies, and 
p2p sales.  They each supported a few categories, and lots of ability to 
describe differences, and allowed their customers to search the 
descriptions.  Flickr may want to allow arbitrary captions on the 
pictures, but it's unlikely they need a structured markup language for 
cats that includes what they're wearing, or what their color or breed 
is.  Standard simple markup with room for differentiation in the 
descriptions is sufficient, and I think that's what microformats push for.

Amazon wants to display titles, authors, cover photos and reviews.
Netflix wants to let people browse by genre, title, actors, and 
directors.  Neither needs to come up with genre-specific markup to serve 
all the tiny niches the companies never thought of before they became 
part of the phenomenon.

Chris Hibbert
Principal Investigator, Prediction Markets
chris.hibbert at commerce.net

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list