Bloglines introduces “unique to me”, What are microformats good for?, and Naming

The author summarizes Bloglines going “unique to me”, the importance of the word Ajax, and asks what the heck are microformats good for?

Big news out of bloglines. They announced an update yesterday that allows users to track packages (yes, UPS, Fedex, etc.) through their service. They also hint at future additions: “Bloglines readers can look forward to collecting more kinds of unique-to-me information on Bloglines in the near future, such as neighborhood weather updates and stock portfolio tracking.”

So, what does “unique-to-me” mean? I think it means more granular RSS feeds in the form of things that only matter to you. In other words, these feeds have a single purpose only, to update you on something that you’re interested in, most presumably personal content. For packages, you’ll only need them for a short period of time and you’ll throw them away. For stocks, you’ll probably always keep an eye on it.

Talk about aggregation! This is the future: watch it.

Also, I’ve been interested in Eric Meyer’s Emergent Semantics presentation at SXSW, where he talks about microformats as a way to bring together bottoms-up semantics. Here’s a good microformats intro page at technorati. As I mentioned the other day, Bud Gibson is working on xFolk, a folksonomies microformat.

What I’m not sold on yet is the usefulness of microformats. I don’t have any use for them yet, and as far as I can see there has been a lot of pushback on the “nofollow” microformat. But what about the others? I know of rubhub.com, but what use is it? Any ideas out there? I’m new to this stuff…

In other news, Del.icio.us gets funding. Excellent! Now we’ll have more things to investigate as Joshua S. beefs up his already great system.

Also, I haven’t said anything about Ajax yet because I’m still amazed at how simply naming something could be such a big deal. Take a gander at the Q&A of Jesse James Garrett’s Ajax article in which he basically severs all ties between him and the technology, presumably as the result of all the press he received.

But the lesson here is clear. Naming is hugely important, because it allows people to communicate more concretely about something they, in some cases, couldn’t talk about before.

Published: March 31st, 2005

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