I'm very pleased to announce the technology preview of Technorati microformats search for contacts, events and reviews, and Pingerati, a microformats ping distributor to support and grow the microformats ecosystem. Microformats are the key building block, the lingua franca, that make structured information open and sharable on the Web.
Microformats enable any site to easily publish common data types such as tags, licenses, contacts, events, reviews, listings, etc. on any page on the Web, with only minor edits to their HTML. For me personally, this has meant enabling millions of people to take control of their own data, publish and update it wherever they want, whenever they want, and move it freely among services, without having it locked up behind a walled garden or trapped in a "roach motel".
Technorati believes in the voice of the individual, and their right to own and control their data.
In January 2005, Technorati developed the rel-tag open standard for tagging content on any blog across the Web, and enabled millions of bloggers to tag content on their own sites. The Technorati Tags service allowed bloggers to follow the conversation around all the amazing and unique tags that they invented.
The microformats.org open standards community has developed and popularized the hCard, hCalendar, and hReview open standards that enable any website to easily publish their contacts, events, and reviews respectively in HTML, in a form both viewable by humans and understandable by machines, without unnecessary duplication of effort.
We have worked with (and continue to work with) numerous publishers and content hosting sites -- including 30Boxes, BlogMatrix, ClaimID, Eventful, Flickr, Judy's Book, LiveJournal, Meetup, Odeo, Upcoming.org, WordPress, Yahoo! Tech, Yahoo! UK Movie Reviews (and many more) -- over the past year to support this growing ecosystem of open, sharable data. I'm grateful to all of them for their participation, support, and leadership of vision as we tear down the walls and allow users to mix and match their data as they've always wanted to.
This afternoon Technorati introduces a technology preview of microformats search for contacts, events, and reviews. Available now in the Technorati Kitchen, I invite you to come take a look at this first of a kind realtime microformats search engine, see what the team has worked very hard to build for you, and let us know what you think and what you want from microformats search.
If you are (or will be) publishing with microformats in your blog, and you're already pinging Technorati, then you are all set. Our new microformats search will index your microformats.
For all other kinds of web pages with microformats (e.g. about/contact pages, events calendars/listings, online product reviews, social networking profiles, conference schedules, your list of favorite restaurants, etc.), we're proud to introduce the Pingerati microformats pinger and distributor.
Whenever you publish or update such pages with microformats, use Pingerati to notify microformats indexers and aggregators, such as Technorati, EVDB, and several others in development.
Welcome to the realtime microformats web.
This past month I have been in perhaps the most heads down, focused, isolated mode that I have been in since the days of developing IE5/Mac. I've blown off going to nearly all events. I've skipped camps, conferences and working group meetings. I've postponed responding to most emails, voicemails, and other attempts at contacting me. I even blew off shaving, as some folks have noticed on Flickr.
All of this was necessary in order to maintain singular focus to complete the projects I've been working on for about six weeks.
Late last month, David Sifry challenged me to build something. He said that if anyone was going to build it, it had to be me. He said that no one else was going to build it first. He said that only I understood the ramifications and details well enough both pursue it with urgency, and not get hung up on minutiae.
Tim Berners-Lee had to design and build the first web browser and web server, and from that point on, the Internet as we know it was changed forever by those two inventions. In fact, it would not be an overstatement to say that world wide communications and sharing of knowledge would be revolutionized by what one determined person had designed and built. No amount of previous academic papers, research, posters, or presentations at conferences had done so. No amount of schmoozing, politicking, press releases, grand announcements had done so. No, it was his first implementations that made all the difference.
I too have had to design two things that are complementary and work together. Fortunately I've had help building them. I've coded large parts of one and am fortunate enough to work with great people who wrote key pieces and made it all work. One colleague in particular, built the second thing pretty much all by himself, merely following a rough spec and to-do list we jointly brainstormed onto an intranet wiki page.
In a few hours this will all be live, I'll post more details, and you'll be able to see for yourself what's been keeping me so busy and unreachable. Will it change human communications and how we share information? Only the future will be able to tell us that. For now, I just wanted to take a brief moment this quiet morning and pause and reflect.