Reviews microformat call for implementors

The microformats community is currently working on a reviews microformat and is interested in collecting feedback and acquired knowledge from implementers. We have collected some of the existing reviews formats present on the web today, but may not have represented the entire corpus.

Microformats allow authors to markup content with a specific format and structure for discovery by others using XHTML. You control the content but make that structured content discoverable by others through a microformat such as hCalendar, hCard, XFN, or tags. A review microformat will utilize the existing elements and attributes of XHTML to define the essential components of a review for use by authors and tool builders for easy identification, discovery and retrieval with the the flexibility to publish to your own site, a community site, or both.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about gathering community reviews through my experiences at shopping comparison sites PriceGrabber and NexTag. Consumers want the best information available about a company or product before making a decision, but the best information is difficult to discover and strewn across the entire web. I sometimes turn to specialist sites such as Digital Photography Review for camera reviews, Chowhound or Zagat for restaurants and Amazon for book reviews. I am fortunate to know about some passionate experts in the world of weblogs and check Russell Beattie’s blog for information about Series 60 cell phones and Slashdot for reviews of programming books from people who should know.

What if all these research resources could be brought together? What if you could publish select content to multiple locations for discovery by large communities? It’s exciting and empowering to think about all the possibilities of the semantic web.

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