The BlogMD Initiative (via The

The BlogMD Initiative (via The Noisy One): “The BlogMD initiative, by creating a standard ping API supported by multiple CMS developers, will remove this “barrier to entry” from the weblog metadata application space.”

What it basically means is that you can make your metadata available through an API. It’s similar yet different from XFML:

– BlogMD wants to provide a centrally imposed set of metadata, mostly focussing on things like title, creation date, author and such. “[…] think creatively about what a good set of standard metadata to track around blogs would be.” XFML wants each author to create it’s own metadata structure, and is more focussed on topics without values (a date has a value, a topic doesn’t).

– BlogMD shares its data through an API (using pings, like TrackBack), XFML shares its data by publishing an XML file (like RSS). Pings will scale better and offer some possible cool advantages, XML files offer simplicity and ease of developing for (everyone knows how to parse an XML file).

– XFML is in version 0.8 (not published yet), BlogMD is just starting. We’re ahead ;)

– Ease of implementation: XFML exporting is very easy to implement, full XFML functionality (importing, merging, …) is a lot harder, but BlogMD is even harder.

Overall, they sound like two complementary technologies. Go check them out and if you’re technically inclined, give them a hand!

Cities of Text: Some Notes

Cities of Text: Some Notes On Some Notes on Intranets, Knowledge Management And Urban Planning: “Instead of file servers – byzantine hierarchical mazes into which we dump inscrutable containers of chartjunk called blarvitz.doc and blarvitz.ppt and blarvitz.wks – we have Web servers: byzantine, hierarchical mazes into which we dump now-scrutable containers of chartjunk called blarvitz.html.
In short, we’ve traded one generation of junk-making tools for another, one generation of data junkyard technology for another. “

NUblog: Dubliners, where the Joe-man

NUblog: Dubliners, where the Joe-man laments the slow adoption of RDF: “What we need is for Web pages to categorize themselves, which categorizations could then be computer-read and -collected. It’s already possible, but it ain’t happening.”

He’s missing the point: there is no incentive for me to try to understand RDF or add it to my website. Langauges like RSS or XFML adresses the incentive problem by adding value to a website with additional incoming and outgoing links. People can add metadata to other people’s sites (a core concept that makes topicmaps (and XFML) really powerful): not everyone has to be a librarian.

RDF is dead as a popular metadata format. If it was gonna happen, it would have already. Forget about it.

[topicmapmail] occurrence abuse?: a thread

[topicmapmail] occurrence abuse?: a thread on the topicmap mailinglist that nicely illustrates why topicmaps are too complex for use by non-experts: even they can’t seem to agree on the definition of something as fundamental as an occurrence.

But that’s ok – we don’t need topicmaps to be understood by the user. Compatible child formats like XFML can be developed for specific purposes – and UI’s should remove the last level of complexity. People will mess up metadata: they are lazy and metadata is hard to understand. That’s a given we just have to work with.

I have a strong feeling

I have a strong feeling culture (and how it interacts with technology) is the next thing the web people will discover. The signs are there. It’s such a rich topic, with a huge influence on how we design interactions.

Learning about culture is a logical next step: start with visual design, learn that interaction matters more so do interaction design and information architecture, learn more about social sciences, cognitive psychology, then read about cultural changes associated with disruptive technologies. Start (self-promotional) reading up.