Web 2.0 Expo: Placelessness and the Advance of Micropublishing

by Luke Wroblewski April 16, 2007

Alex Faaborg’s Placelessness and the Advance of Micropublishing talk at Web 2.0 Expo explored user experience design concepts for Microformat content.

  • Microformats are ways to structure content that is both machine readable & human readable. They give computers and people a way to discuss content together.
  • 1993: the Web browser was a book where back and forward buttons enabled page turning. It was primarily used to find information.
  • 2005: the Web browser was a radio station. You could subscribe to podcasts, RSS, live bookmarks, and more. But there wasn’t a standard interaction or visual representation for RSS as evidenced by the myriad of button styles and types for subscribing found on site. Ultimately, the Web browser stepped in to take over RSS subscriptions and integrated with you preferred subscription tools.
  • 2008: the Web browser will be a switchboard that enables you to move information around and control where it goes. Microformats are likely to play a large role in this transition and it may be time for the Web browser to step as it did with RSS to take care of things for user.
  • Initially, we should support contacts, addresses, and events: three fundamental types of information.
  • People exist is space and time. Space & time map to specific displays of information.
  • With Microformats, you can view credit card statements on a calendar or on Google earth: where purchases where made and when they where made.
  • What does a microformat aware Web browser look like? Could be in the URL bar, history menu, bookmarks, on top of content (as a modal layer, etc.)
  • Why expose content using microformats: help the Web ecosystem; enable both user engagement & machine readability; data pollination: let people take content and share with friends to increase your presence on the Web.