The first tool is Technorati Microformat Search which indexes and provides searching tools for hCard (contact information), hCalendar (event information) and hReview (product reviews) data published on the web. This is a great tool for finding information that may be out there, but at this stage I think it serves just as important of as use as a great example of how publishing data on the web in standard formats can have a real visible benefit beyond simply feeling good about somewhat nebulous things like “using good semantics”. But I don’t want to discount its potential in helping search for information, especially as the tool develops and offers more formats, more advanced ways to search on specific information or parts of formats, and a larger database of indexed data. I’d love to give Microformat Search a 5 star rating, but right now I can only give it a without some enhancements to the search interface.</p>
The second is Pingerati which is designed as a multiple service ping tool for announcing the publishing of microformats data on the web. While the Technorati Microformat Search will automatically report microformat data published in blogs that Technorati tracks, this services is useful for registering items published outside of blogs, like the hCard on my webstandards.org bio page. This one clearly gets a from me—its just too useful in growing the amount of known data out there.</p>
Still don’t ‘get it’? Don’t know why or how any of this is might be useful to you? Well, maybe you find a need to looking for information about members of some organization, or maybe you’re doing research and want to see how people are reviewing recent products. As the web of microformat data grows, these types of tools will become that much more useful when compared to standard tech search mechanisms for getting specific information.
For more information see Kevin’s rundown of the new services and Tantek’s followup to the initial announcement, Before Microformats Search There Was Microformat Base, Ruby Microformat Parser, and X2V.
NOTE: This post contains 2 hReview entries, lets see how they make it through to the new services.