…here’s a pioneer to this idea.
Basically it includes some additonal fields in your blogs posting interface, these fields are descriptive metadata…so you can explicitly say, this post is a movie review…I guess this would work by labelling your post with the blog category “movie”, and if you check the structured blogging field “review”, this would distinguish the post from just being about movies in general, to explicitly a movie review…I guess it is leaving blog categories to describe the subject, and the blog fields to describe the post type or style.
Actually, looking at an example, it is much more definitive, if this takes off we can aggregated precise content according to our requests (very semantic).
Can’t we already do this using Tags in our posts, which are collated by services such as Technorati…we can go to Technorati Tags and browse.
It’s just a bit messier with tags as it is a bottom-up system, you have to browse around a bit for tags like film, cinema, movies, dvd…although this may be a good thing as it is more specific, but it doesn’t neccessarily mean the posts will be “review” type, you could add this tag (but that may limit your results).
Sample: film OR cinema OR movie OR dvd
But this would mean people would have to tag their posts with both tags, eg. movie, review…eg. movie+review…and what about blogs categories, they are not generally going to have both categories; movie, and review.
So the aboutness of these tags are a bit more vague, whereas with Structured Blogging the aboutness can be more exact…but then a more controlled system like Structured Blogging is going to be harder to get everyone to adhere to, even if the 3 biggest blogging platforms have plugins, will everyone use it (I’d have to ask my host), and what about the rest of the other blogging platforms.
Also who decides on these metadata fields, who is the authority, can we suggest fields?
I like the idea of defining an element set, kind of like a version of DC for the blogosphere, but a centralised subject index is another ball game (the values within the element).
So I still like the idea of bottom-up tags, but I also like the idea of a subtle structure, as tags are used not only as subject terms, so if we could just classify our tags into facets, these facets are the Structured Blogging fields, eg. Author, Review, Media, Publisher, Title, etc…
If this works, this is a step towards the user driven semantic web (ie. we the bloggers define and describe contents at the time of posting according to a standard)…then any service will be able to aggregate posts on a topic with hopefully minimal noise.
I can even see this working even better at a blog collective level, such as the Corante Web Hub, as tag clouds can start to get out of hand…that is of course unless participants decide on a tag set, but this has more to do with the values in the field, what I like about Structured Blogging is that it defines an element type…like search fields in an OPAC.
At the moment you can’t search within a tag at Technorati Tags, let alone limiting this to an OPML, hopefully Structured Blogging will allow us to search within a subject type, that is also a certain document type…this is targeted fielded searching, the blogosphere as an OPAC.
How will this integrate with social bookmarking services, if you bookmark a post (that has been made with Structured Blogging) will the fields auto-fill, and will these fields be available in bookmark services…then we would be able to search bookmarks by author, title, subject type, document type, format type, etc…this would be a human indexed web OPAC.