Microformats
Tantek, I, Ryan, and Ulla looking jovial after lunch in SoMa (photo by Kevin)

Episode 2 of the Verkko2 podcast is now available for download. The topic is microformats, featuring Tantec Çelik and Ryan King from microformats.org and Technorati. There’s a Finnish intro but the interview is in English. It was recorded in April when Ulla and I visited Technorati. Towards the end, I ask Tantek and Ryan to describe the future of microformats. Tantek calls it a revolution:

I think we’ll see more and more sites publishing their data in microformats. And that is the start of the real revolution. Just like RSS has enabled complete decentralization of episodic content on the Web, we see microformats as enabling total decentralization of contact information, of event information, of reviews.

According to Tantek, the microformat revolution benefits everybody:

The beauty is that even in a situation like that, where all the data is distributed, all these centralized sites that are currently keeping this data, by syndicating their data out, they become part of this larger network of information. So it’s good for them as well. It’s good for everybody – not just individuals; we think it’s good for corporations as well.

He sees three waves in the rise of microformats: the microformats themselves emerging first, then a growth in the quantity of microformatted content, and third the appearance of new microformat-specific tools:

The first wave is the rise of different kinds of microformats. We’re seeing the rise of that now and we think it’ll totally take off in the next year. Trailing that is a wave of content published using microformats. And trailing that is a third wave of tools. You’ll start to see toolvendors say ‘Hey, there are millions of hCards out there! Maybe I should start developing tools that could read those and do interesting things with them.’

In the long run, Tantek believes microformats will become as ubiquitous as HTML:

At some point we’re just going to take microformats for granted, like we now take HTML for granted. I truly believe that’s the path we’re on and that this is only a matter of time.

To learn more about microformats, check the Wikipedia. There’s more about microformats on microformats.org. And here’s a slide presentation titled ‘What Are Microformats?‘ by Tantek Çelik.

Leave a Comment