Tag Archives: structuredblogging

Listening to old podcasts…

I was doing some work in the garden on Saturday and I had the chance to listen to some old podcasts I’d downloaded early last year (most from 2005). Even though they were all over a year old, it was still more interesting to hear them rather than listening to current radio!

I started off with some stuff from the IT Conversations podcast series (BTW Tom recently interviewed the host Doug Kaye). I began with Dave Winer, who was interviewed by ITC in 2004. TBH, I only knew of Winer as Mr. OPML and one of the people behind the RSS fork, so as a Semantic Web researcher I had some predisposed bias towards him. After the first few minutes listening, I nearly gave up as my brain rallied against his ego, but either he or I calmed down because listening on I think I got an insight into his mind – his fights with Apple (over AppleScript) and other big corps no doubt seemed like déjà vu during his perceived takeover of RSS by O’Reilly.

Next up, I listened to syndication nation, a panel from Supernova 2005 talking about RSS, blogging and commercial models for publishing online. It was pretty interesting, and there was a good mix of technical insight from Kevin Marks and money making ideas from Tim Bray. Finally in my ITC downloads, I listened to a session on blog design from BlogHer 2005, where there were some good general tips and questions from people on how to make their blog sites more attractive. Some were common sense tips (don’t use dark backgrounds, use a large enough font) and others were words of experience (pay that relatively small amount for a designer to give you something unique for your site).

I also listened to some stuff from PodTech.net: what was supposed to be an interview with Matt Mullenweg about blog software trends was mislabelled and turned out to be an interview with George Gilder about the future of media, technology and telecommunications. It was not what I was expecting so I hopped on to one about Yahoo! Alerts, talking about the integration of RSS feed reading into their beta mail client (much as Thunderbird does, except showing an overall view as well as individual feeds).

Finally, I ended up on PodLeaders and finished off a Marc Canter podcast that I must have started listening to some time back (nice of my nano to remember where I was). Marc’s focus has moved on from structured blogging (one of the main topics in this episode) to PeopleAggregator, but even though it was old the podcast reminded me how much can still be done with structured blogging, and how important it is to make SB available for those multiuser blogging environments (Drupal, WPMU, etc.) rather than individual publishing systems. It also prompted me to download another podcast mentioned in the show, an interview Tom did with Salim Ismail from PubSub. That’s next on my list!

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Ideas for Structured Blogging

I want to use SB. I need to use SB. I just can’t use SB right now 😦 I wrote my last “Superman Returns” post using the Structured Blogging plugin, but when I created the post, it messed up my template (I think now it was probably due to something simple like a div section being split by a more tag in WP). But harder for me was the fact that I couldn’t keep saving as a draft (more than once), or use the WYSIWYG editor. After all, reviews (especially long ones like I just wrote) take a lot of time and effort, so having the abilities to draft and not use HTML are quite important 🙂

Here are some ideas that I think would be great for Structured Blogging:

  • Get SB and WPMU to work together. Someone has already hacked it to work where virtual hosts are not being used. Seems I can’t implement it on journals.ie yet…
  • Allow SB to let you choose what you want to review from your allconsuming.net profile. All Consuming produces RSS, which could be used as the basis for getting potential review items in a drop-down list.
  • Create an SB ontology so that SB metadata can be exported as native RDF (in combination with RSS 1.0 or SIOC) rather than it having to be extracted from the post content somehow.
  • SB currently pulls in some metadata from Amazon, maybe the same could be done for IMDB with films / DVDs.

How to Make Stuctured Blogging Popular…

I’m currently enhancing the blogging section of our tutorial for the World Wide Web conference next week with more information on Structured Blogging, and having installed the SIOC WordPress plugin on a WordPress MU-powered site I run, I’ve realised that Structured Blogging isn’t going to take off by just providing plugins for single-user blogging platforms like WordPress and Moveable Type. It is more suited to multi-user blogging communities powered by WordPress MU and Drupal.

I’ve already asked James Farmer about Structured Blogging and WPMU compatability, because it currently doesn’t work out of the box with WPMU (although this may change with a forthcoming WPMU 1.0 stable release). If anyone has managed to get this to work, please let us know because I believe that this could be a boon for the Structured Blogging cause… I’ll happily install it for the couple of hundred journals.ie users when it is ready!