Google Reviews

So Google has done what hReview dreams of in the future, and they’ve done it without boiling the ocean and making everyone change their markup. If we all do million dollar markup we can enable multi-million dollar search startups to compete with billion dollar giants, with the obvious economic incentive for the hoi polloi being increased traffic from placement in the content aggregators.

5 replies on “Google Reviews”

  1. “hoi polloi”?! I swear that was just in a question on Who wants to be a Millionaire? in Australia only a couple of hours ago. Boy, the lady who got the question wrong probably wished she knew you.

  2. Hi Matt,

    I think Google Reviews is a very cool application. I especially like its clean results user interface.

    Correct me if I’m wrong: it appears that Google Reviews (currently at least) covers only movie reviews, but even that ought to be commended. It may not be “boiling the ocean”, but it is certainly a lot of work to write the custom parsers to read the custom markup schemes of even just a few movie review sites. Even so this is a really good way to get started with some movie review data for the development of a movie reviews aggregation application. Plus, any solution that relies on the way people are already behave has a huge advantage over those that require everyone to change their behavior, no doubt.

    However, writing a custom parser for each site that does reviews doesn’t scale to millions of bloggers, who can (are) writing reviews in so many different ways. So if you want to aggregate all those reviews, what do you do?

    One of the key motivations for hReview comes from the developers of tools and services that publish reviews who want to better enable their reviews (of anything, movies, events, products, artists etc.) to be discovered and aggregated, indexed, and perhaps most importantly, found, linked, and served. By collaborating (representatives from AOL, CommerceNet, Microsoft, SixApart, Technorati, and Yahoo) on the design of a simple format that leverages currently published reviews’ markup inline (without having to duplicate all that content in invisible metadata either in hacks like HTML comments/escapes or “side files” in some non-human friendly format). With only minor markup insertions, it takes very little work on the part of any review publisher to enhance their current reviews to be recognized as hReviews, that even a single developer can quickly (a day or two at most) write an XSLT transform to quickly parse and handle as needed.

    Another key aspect of hReview is the fact that it is an open standard that is being jointly proposed by key implementers. Interested in participating as a key implementer? The Call For Implementer Participation (CFIP) is still open. We’d love to have more implementers join, try out hReview, and provide critical feedback and suggestions for improvement. Like all microformats efforts, we plan to iterate rapidly on hReview, and evolve it as necessary.

    Join us and enable a better user experience for anyone publishing, indexing, aggregating, and linking to reviews on today’s Web. Personally, I’d expect Google to be one of the first to take advantage of numerous easily parsable hReviews.

    Thanks,

    Tantek

  3. What Tantek said.

    Seriously. While I’m not the biggest fan of Technorati (just my opinion), I think they are making great strides in the various content formats that they are creating. If you are an application developer and have not taken a look at their microformats, you need to get on it quickly! Tantek is doing some excellent work in this space. Google has a business to run today. Technorati is going to make that business easier tomorrow.

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