Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Microformat wars?

It's pretty easy to to create a microformat, in fact it's so easy it's hard to stop users doing it. Some will catch on and some probably won't. Both geotagging, and more recently celltagging, have become standards from the ground up. People are following them because they think it's a good idea, not necessarily because some standards agency has given it's blessing.
I think there's a lot to be said for following standards or microformats. However there's nothing stopping people from tagging however they like, and if enough people do it becomes its own useful standard. - Dan Catt
The key word here is "useful", people want software and formats to be useful, no useful added semantic content, no microformat.

People are starting to get worked up about the supposed wisdom of crowds and the possible problems created by Folksonomy and I don't really understand why, surely we should let the market decide?

In the end people use software and standards because they're useful, they solve problems. If standards are neither useful, nor solve problems people care about, then they won't be used. Conversely, no matter how unofficial, standards that solve problems get used. Standards that almost solve problems get twisted until they do, even if that "breaks" the standard. That's what's happened with triple tagging and the solution isn't to stop users doing it, it's to fix the infrastructure so that when they do we can use the extra semantic content in a useful manner.