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microformats are:

microformats are not:

  • a new language
  • infinitely extensible and open-ended
  • an attempt to get everyone to change their behavior and rewrite their tools
  • a whole new approach that throws away what already works today
  • a panacea for all taxonomies, ontologies, and other such abstractions
  • defining the whole world, or even just boiling the ocean
  • any of the above

the microformats principles

  • solve a specific problem
  • start as simple as possible
    • solve simpler problems first
    • make evolutionary improvements
  • design for humans first, machines second
    • be presentable and parsable
    • visible data is better than invisible metadata
    • adapt to current behaviors and usage patterns, e.g. (X)HTML, blogging
  • reuse building blocks from widely adopted standards
  • modularity / embeddability
    • design to be reused and embedded inside existing formats and microformats
  • enable and encourage decentralized development, content, services
    • explicitly encourage "spirit of the Web"

microformats presentations

microformats specifications

People and Companies

Social Networks

Lists and Outlines

Calendars and Events

Ratings and Reviews

Licenses, open source, content sharing

Tags, keywords, categories

hyperlink relationships


microformats based specifications

The beauty of small and simple microformats is that they can easily be reused as building blocks to for richer formats and specifications.


microformats experiments and first thoughts


  • hReview 0.4 (in progress)
  • reviews-formats - research into existing review schemas and formats to attempt to understand the common simple subset that makes sense to turn into a microformat, as well as analysis of existing review markup structures used for presentation.

Link Tagging

News Story Relationships


  • podcast-metadata - A standard for using HTML to markup podcast "show notes" blog posts with machine usable metadata

Robots Exclusion

Exams and certification

Job postings




  • WikiFormats - making formats out of materials common to most all wiki: bold, italic, links, and maybe lists.