More microformats

Today, Brian and I attended DCampSouth in way way north Raleigh. Congrats to Jackson on organizing a fun and stimulating unconference around design and user experience.

Thomas Vander Wal started the day with a keynote about tagging and folksonomy. His talk led me to thinking about the incredible value we invest in sites where we not only post our content, but also indicate what it means by tagging it for the community to see.

I think that microformats are a key way that we can organize and share our own data, while still taking advantage of community sites. So I led a session on this topic. There were about 10 participants including Mr. Vander Wal. It was a very interesting discussion and I think we all learned something new about microformats and open standards on the web.

Here are the notes I just posted on the DCampSouth wiki

Open standards, microformats, userperson-controlled data, etc.

This conversation was inspired by Thomas Vander Wal’s keynote, and sought to expand more specifically on the question of how we can own or control our own data (and metadata) instead of giving it to corporations who may use it for purposes with which we don’t agree.


  • Microformats: machine-readable data in open, agreed-upon formats that is also human readable by being embedded in HTML, eg: hCards, XFN.
    In Other words: “Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).’ –
  • OpenID: persistent, secure identity online. Can be used for login at multiple sites and may contain additional information about the person, eg: ClaimID.

Learn more


Unresolved questions and other thoughts

Please join and show support for implementing microformats.

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