SXSW2006 Day 4: Microformats – Evolving The Web


Moderated and kicked-off by Tantek Çelik.

Microformats Process:

  • Pick a simple problem and define it. No frameworks.
  • Document what existing web pages are doing and find patterns for a specific microformat
  • Trying not to create standards or formats.
  • Brainstorm a set of fields to define microformats
  • Post findings, get feedback and iterate.

A Microformats Exercise

  • Create your own hCard
  • Publish it to your site
  • Add a link to hCard examples

Mark Norman Francis, Yahoo! Sr. Developer London, wants to create semantic meaning without the delay of us building the Semantic Web. hReviews will return 7 figures of results in local European searches (for restaurants, films, etc.), while the current Yahoo! film reviews have 4 or 5 figures of results.

Jeremy Keith, web developer, wanted to get his SXSW plans up on his page and add geo-coordinates, so he created a microformat page and mixed it up with the Google map API.

I think I speak for all non-developers when I say holy fuck.

I copy and pasted my plans into a blog post and manually linked them up from my iCal feeds. Anything more that that would’ve made me nutso. But the point here is the microformats themselves, not this particularly geeky application.

Chris Messina, flock, sees the web as an event stream, a social space and an actual data-storage space. When you build in microformats to search, flock (and outside developers) can leverage “round-trip attention:”

  • Blog posts with links to people
  • Lists of people and their blogs
  • Your contact info and favorites
  • Concerts and movies reviews
  • Upcoming events

flock can use these semantic information to create relational experiences in results. The more times a flock user comes across markup information about specific people, places, things, etc., flock can capture and present back to the searcher a filtered picture of that person, place, thing, etc.


claimID is gathering individuals publishing service spots and generating centralized hCards.

Structured Blogging has a WordPress plugin that supports a ton of microformats

– “Roach Motels are so 1.0”