Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wine, Film and Books: Adaptive Blue Offers Open Format to Make the Web Smarter

Semantic web company Adaptive Blue has published what it hopes will become a standard for publishers who want to signal in their header tags when a webpage is primarily about a particular book, film, wine or other type of objects. From search to trend analysis to a richer browsing experience - the developments that could come from adoption such a standard are many.

Called AB Meta, the format was developed in concert with a number of other web companies and is aimed to be part of a larger effort to pick up where existing Semantic Web and microformats markup leaves off. It's simple and extensible.

When the meaning of web pages becomes machine readable - magical things can happen.

Bloggers who want to mark up particular pages or post pages with AB Meta can do so using Dougal Campbell's HeadMeta WordPress plugin. Some post-level meta data editing is possible with Typepad but Blogger users are out of luck. Hopefully someone will build a UI for self-publishers.

For commercial publishers and retail sites, the AB Meta standard should be much easier to implement across their sites. In addition to the new spec drawn up to describe objects, AB Meta also leverages existing Dublin Core markup when available.
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Above is a sample of some simple AB Meta, below is an extended version.
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AM Meta is based largely on Adaptive Blue's work developing its BlueOrganizer smart browser plug-in and SmartLinks contextual reference tool. Now that the company has come up with a robust, simple and extensible format for designating the primary object of a web page and describing its various characteristics - the next logical step is to open that format up and do some biz dev building adoption in web pages themselves. Though anyone will be able to index AB Meta, Adaptive Blue's products will presumably be the most advanced at first in what it can do with the markup of its own creation.

We're big fans of the semantic web here at RWW and (disclosure) Adaptive Blue CEO Alex Iskold writes some of the smartest posts about it that you'll find here or anywhere.

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