I’ve recently hopped on the microformats bandwagon. I think they have some great potential for helping push the web toward a more semantic one and thus making the content on various pages much more useful and usable. There are a variety of defined microformats for things such as addresses, people, reviews, events, and even resumes.

In an effort to adopt microformats on my personal blog I installed the wordpress plugin Structured Blogging. It is a great idea but it is kind of poorly implemented.

For instance I wrote up a review of a movie yesterday and included some of the metadata such as cast, year, website, imdb link, etc. When the plugin saved my post it put all of the metadata at the beginning of the blog post and put the actual review at the end. This seemed kind of backwards to me. I suppose I could probably either rig together some CSS to flip flop them OR I could hack the plugin (and make it non-forward compatiable); but neither of those options are all the great.

First off the HTML created by the plugin is pretty awkward and this isn’t even due to the hReview (review microformat) standard. In fact it turns out all of that fluff data has no place in the hReview at all. Here is the actual standard:

hReview (hreview)

    * version. optional. text.

    * summary. optional. text.

    * item type. optional. product | business | event | person | place | website | url.

    * item info. required. fn (url || photo ) | hCard (for person or business) | hCalendar (for event)

    * reviewer. optional. hCard.

    * dtreviewed. optional. ISO8601 absolute date time.

    * rating. optional. fixed point integer [1.0-5.0], with optional alternate worst (default:1.0) and/or best (default:5.0), also fixed point integers, and explicit value.

    * description. optional. text with optional valid XHTML markup.

    * tags. optional. keywords or phrases, using rel-tag, each with optional rating.

    * permalink. optional, using rel-bookmark and rel-self.

    * license. optional, using rel-license.

Becuase of his strange output behavior (puts all this optional information after the basic standard stuff) I can’t really recommend the structured blogging plugin; even though I really wanted to when I found it. What follows is an hReview of the plugin itself:


Structured Blogging Wordpress Plugin](http://structuredblogging.org/)

A wordpress plugin that aims to help people publish micorformatted content. However, due to the odd design choice that puts purely optiona/extended information after the meat of the actual content the user wishes to structure I can not recommened this plugin at this time.

(1 out of 5)

Review by

Bill Rawlinson,

October 10, 2006

If you have a firefox plugin called Tails (version 0.3.4+) installed it will discover this review and give you the ability to export it. This works really well with other microformats such as addresses or events becuase you can easilly import them into your address books or calendars. If you don’t use firefox there is a handy bookmarklet that pulls out addresses and events as well.