This is Not an Ordinary Blog Post
This post is a proof of concept--I've embedded microformatted content into the text of this post. If you run this page thru a microcontent viewer you should be able to see and use the microcontent. There aren't, to my knowledge, any viewers out there yet, so I ( this is my vcardJason Kolb email@example.com 800 555 1212
) wrote a simple one that supports events and contacts (hcards and hevents). Try viewing this post using the microcontent viewer I wrote using this URL:
- http://www.xformats.org/MicroViewer/default.htm?url=http://www.jasonkolb.c om/weblog/2006/06/this_is_not_an__1.html
Admittedly, there aren't many fun things to do with microcontent yet. However, it's very enlightening the first time you move data around between applications using Live Clipboard. Try copying a contact out of this post and pasting it into Ray Ozzie's Live Clipboard demo site. Another site that supports Live Clipboard is M. David Peterson M. David Peterson firstname.lastname@example.org 800 555 1212
's Global Clip demo (which is super cool because what you paste in gets stored in Amazon's S3 online storage service). The sites that support Live Clipboard are a little rough around the edges at the moment, but I would assume that things will start coming together nicely over the next six months.
Here's an example embedded event just for kicks: Web 2.0 Conference
. Just to give you an event to copy & paste using Live Clipboard.
To me, this is what microformats promise. They enable us to turn regular old content into rich media, with little to no effort on the part of content creators.
More Examples from Around the Web
Now, let's have a little more fun ;) You can actually use the viewer I wrote to look at things other than this blog post. You can either hit the viewer directly using http://www.xformats.org/MicroViewer or you can append the URL to the query string to automatically load up a page like I did with the link to this post earlier. Go find some microformatted content and plug it in, here are some links to content that I found from poking around on http://www.microformats.org:
http:/ /www.crowley.nl/hcard.html - An example vCard
- http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/events/ - This one gets really crazy. It has events with embedded vcards for speakers. Looks like rainbow sherbert in the viewer. Oooooh, pretty colors! (Live Clipboard-compatible.)
http://www.iowamilitaryveteransband.com/members/ - This one takes a while to parse, it's got quite a few contacts.
htt p://www.jasonkolb.com/about.html - My vCard.
You can also use http://microformats.org/code/hcard/creator to create your own vCard that can be embedded into text like I've done here.
Disclaimer: if it doesn't work or your computer bursts into flames or you break out in a rash or something, tell me about it--but I accept no blame in perpetuity for anything :) This isn't even beta software, this is like... whatever comes before alpha. Also, people are doing lots of weird stuff with Microformats such as embedding <script> tags in them, so you'll often find that although the cards will render, they will choke Live Clipboard if you attempt to paste them into another site. If you're technically minded, try pasting the contact into Notepad or something so you can fix it.
These links also aren't really examples of inline microcontent like this post is, unfortunately to my knowledge this is the first example of that on the Web. If anyone has any other examples I'd love to know about them.
If anyone's interested I'll post some more technical information about all this, but I'm still refactoring it for broader use in actual products. All of the code for this example is licensed under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license, so you're free to use and/or modify it if you wish. I'm still adding to it and refactoring it quite a bit; however, I got it to a stable point and I figured I'd see what people thought of as it stands now.
Oh and by the way, listen up Microsoft: we need an editor for this stuff. If you really want to leapfrog the competition, do us all a favor and build Live Clipboard and microformat support into the next version of Word and Outlook.
1600 Pennsylvania AveWashington DC 20500 USA
350 Fifth AveNew York NY 10118 USA