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Jun 21, 2005 6:38am

reblg considered baffling

So Marc Canter announced reblg today:

Ever wondered why you cant just click on an article and blog it? Where's the universal "Blog This" button? Concerned that while microformats and micro-content standards are taking off, our existing tools will lose the structure of these chunks of reviews, events, media. Etc.? Where are the reblogging tools that maintain the structure of microformats and micro-content? Tired of being forced to use only the latest tool or utility to take advantage of a new standard wish you could use ANY tool or utility instead? Where's a routing service to enable me to send posts to whatever tool I chose? Well then you know why we created ReBlg.com, a universal "Blog This" button and routing service.

I'm confused, but here's my interpretation:

Reblg hopes to spur the growth of microformats on the web, by introducing a tool (or set of tools) that create an incentive to post in a structured format. Presumably Reblg will be sensitive to hCal, hReview, and the other microcontent formats currently being pushed by Technorati. I don't see a format for your basic "blog post" but I imagine that such a thing is not too far out. Reblg's Grease Monkey script will parse HTML and add little orange "blog this" buttons next to recognized content chunks - calendar events, etc. Users of the script and other Reblg tools will be able to click those buttons and have them route the clicked-upon content to a blogging tool of their choice.

The benefits to weblog writers would be:

  • Faster time-to-repost. Adding a piece of microcontent to your site would be a one-click operation, presumably with an extra "are you sure?" step and some space for comments thrown in.
  • Easier to find re-postable content. If Six Apart and Blogger get on-board, many sites will be publishing this easy-to-repurpose material by default.
  • Faster spread of your writing. Providing standard ways to repurpose your writing means that your readers can pass it on with less muss, less fuss.

The benefits to Reblg/Marc Canter would be:

  • Marketable data. The Reblg service handles the transition between a click of the orange button and a post to your site. Each re-post would be routed through the server, along with immediate information on who's posting what and where they're getting it. Right now, Technorati and other similar sites get a lot of their information via trackback pings generated when a post is published. Here, Reblg gets much of this same information when a post is conceived. Holy crap!
  • Copious whuffie.

I'm not fully clear on how this beats the One Microformat To Rule Them All, the URL. It feels to me that a lot of blogs have had this problem licked for some time, by providing permanent links to individual content chunks. I guess it's Marc wants to get not just the text of the linked item, but also the markup and semantic content. An item posted as an hCal event would stay that way through any number of "reblggings." I'm not sure I agree that this is necessarily a desire shared by others, though, because I can't piece together the first list of benefits above into any shape that would make sense for mid-stream users - people coming across reblgged posts and wanting to pass them on. hCal could be useful, if someone were to cook up an HTML-to-iCal bridge for it, but right now it's about as useful as the rest of the semantic web.

One place I can see this being insanely cool would be to make the linkage information open, like Del.icio.us does. If (as a writer) I could see who has been repurposing my microcontent, it would help close the already-tight post response ego trip loop accelerated by Technorati.

Oh yeah:

Final NOTE: We feel horrible about being so close to Reblog.org. They're nice people but we use the term reblog completely differently. Hmmmmm.

Dammit Marc, it's a great name, think up your own! Help me understand how this use of "reblog" is different from ours.


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