Web2Con: The Value of Structured Blogging

Do you find yourself writing the same sort of blog post over and over, using a blog tool that isn’t optimized for it? If so, you might benefit from structured blogging. If you’re writing a cd review, for example, your blog tool probably doesn’t supply fields for “cd cover image”, or “liner notes”, or “related […]

Do you find yourself writing the same sort of blog post over and over, using a blog tool that isn’t optimized for it? If so, you might benefit from structured blogging. If you’re writing a cd review, for example, your blog tool probably doesn’t supply fields for “cd cover image”, or “liner notes”, or “related bands”, fields that you might want to include in your posts.

Structured blogging is an effort spearheaded by the folks at Pubsub.com to bring semantic markup to specific blogging genres like movie reviews, calendar events, and anything that has a relatively well-established set of information. Here’s the press release they released Wednesday: PubSub Introduces Open-Source Structured Blogging at Web 2.0.

Most importantly, several of the great blogging tools have promised support: WordPress, Moveable Type, Drupal, and Reger.com.

The best working example that I’ve seen of how this might work is an application that I linked to several weeks ago: Joe Reger’s XML Schema example. Joe has built a system in which you can specify the genre in XML schema files, upload them to your blogging tool, and then simply write posts in that genre.

I met Joe Reger and he’s doing awesome work. His vision is that people will write to blogs without knowing anything about the underlying technology. If they want to write a movie review, they simply fill out a form with helpful fields for movie reviews: rating it, a brief synopsis, principal actors, etc. This user-centered approach is built into his reger.com blogging system, which in my opinion serves as an indication of how blogging will be done in the future. This is because once we have a few common genres (structures) that work, bloggers will not have to add specific fields, repurpose existing fields, code unique forms, or write any database access code.

They’ll just upload and write.

So kudos to Pubsub for pushing it along. And kudos to the platforms that have promised support.

Published: October 7th, 2005

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