Salim Ismail CEO of PubSub announced via press release the structured blogging initiative that was eluded to in the Syndicate SF event schedule. I just got back from the announcement and basically structured blogging is soon to be its own non-profit company set out to create a standardized way to add more valued meta data to a blog (i.e. reviews, listings, events, audio). They do this by offering a plug-in that works with Moveable Type and WordPress that allows users to add structured data to blog posts. In doing so blogs will be able to produce additional meta data for search engines and users to tap into. These structured blogging techniques will allow additional RSS output as well. Many companies are supporting the initiative, including Micheal Arrington of edgeio, Dave Panos of Pluck and Mary Hodder who spoke of her use of structured blogging with a new product called iTags. The full list of supporters can be found here.
During the Q&A session Niall Kennedy threw up a red flag as he determined that the current RSS output that this new structured blogging standard was outputting was not valid with the W3C validator standards for RSS. The flaw was addressed by the structured blogging team by simply saying:
"We will fix it."
Standardizing blog RSS output on events, listings, reviews and audio components is not going to be easy however, I give them a huge amount of credit for the effort and would be willing to help them if necessary in any way I could. I think it is an extremely important effort for the improvement of the blogosphere. Visit structuredblogging.org for more information.
Additionally, I hope to see more hosted blog platforms like Six Apart adopt these structured blogging features into TypePad. However, it appears they may already be moving in the right direction with their Comet product however it may not be exactly the same thing as structured blogging. I know Reger.com is already offering datablogging and they are on board with this effort, so I hope others will be soon to join the standardization effort.