Yahoo and Microsoft support microformats - what chance Google?

Yahoo and Microsoft support microformats - what chance Google?

Summary: At the Supernova workshops today, Yahoo! Local announced that it now supports the hCalendar, hCard, and hReview microformats "on almost all business listings, search results, events, and reviews.

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TOPICS: Browser
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At the Supernova workshops today, Yahoo! Local announced that it now supports the hCalendar, hCard, and hReview microformats "on almost all business listings, search results, events, and reviews." There will be a lot more aggregation services popping up to take advantage of microformatted data The main benefit of this is it makes Web data more structured, because microformats are a way to standardize on different types of data - events, listings, calendar, etc. Another benefit, as Dan Farber quoted Yahoo's Andy Baio on, is that microformats will bring interoperability between the desktop and the Web. This is something I talked about yesterday, when I discussed Microsoft's plan to integrate desktop and Web using Windows Live ID as one of the underpinnings (i.e. the digital identity part).

The Yahoo! Local blog noted that Yahoo is using microformats across a range of its properties:

"Yahoo! Tech uses the hReview microformat for all product reviews, Flickr supports XFN and hCard on all profile pages, and our own Upcoming.org was the first big hCalendar supporter."

The real benefit of structured content is that it makes it possible (or at least a lot easier) to create new aggregation services. Because data is consistently marked-up using microformats, it takes the pain factor of scraping and other workarounds away. So there will be a lot more aggregation services popping up to take advantage of microformatted data - or as FactoryJoe described it, there'll be a "rush to develop UI". This in turn helps the small businesses which list their products and services on the likes of Yahoo Local, because in the long run there will be more ways for general users to get at those listings (due to there being more aggregation of it happening across the Web). So this really is a win-win-win-win - for Yahoo, developers, small businesses and users.

On the desktop/Web integration point -- Alex Barnett of Microsoft points to a screencast, shown at the same Supernova workshop, which shows how to use Live Clipboard + RSS Simple Sharing Extensions (RSS+SSE) + microformats "to synchronize calendars in both directions between a web application (Upcoming.org) and a desktop application (Microsoft Outlook)."

So that's two big Internet companies supporting microformats - and actually AOL is doing some work in this area too, so that makes three. What about Google though? Any chance we'll see Google Base adopt microformats too? Now that would be something...

Topic: Browser

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