March 14, 2006

Will Structured Blogging Work?

Structured Blogging, one of the most promising (though not unproblematic) ideas to emerge from BarCampDelhi has a site devoted to it: Structuredblogging.org. Essentially, the idea is about tagging your blog posts with information so that blog aggregators can derive knowledge out of them. The site features downloadable the WordPress and Movable Type plugins for enabling structured blogging.

I didn't discover this when I blogged about it earlier because I found no mention of it on Tekriti's site, the company behind the initiative and assumed it's not released yet. I should have known better and Googled it.

Looks like others have the same concerns about it taking off as I do. See, Structured Blogging Will Flop. I haven't lost hope though. It seems to me that this needs a massive push from the top-down to succeed. I think Tekriti should be talking to Six Apart, Google (Blogger) and guys at WordPress and LiveJournal.

It'll be impossible to succeed with a bottom up approach (as a downloadable plug-in) because of lack of user incentive at the onset (see recent download stats). Incentive will come when a big bunch of people start using it and it gathers critical mass making it really useful for a searcher (by making information more findable) and therefore the blogger (by bringing in more traffic). If the top five blogging platforms adopt Structured Blogging making it an inbuilt but optional feature, it has the potential to be big.

3 Comments so far      

Anonymous Gaurav:

I agree that adoption will come only when blooging tool vendors start supporting it. People like Marc Canter and companies like PubSub are behind this effort so I feel that Structured Blogging has a fair chance of success.

15 March 2006 at 00:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Ashish:

I think the adoption is on its way. There are plugins for Wordpress and MovableType and a plugin for Drupal is planned. Not only this, an upcoming corporate blogging platform called GoingOn Networks also has StructuredBlogging built in.

May be I will put in my thoughts on this also at my blog sometime :-)

15 March 2006 at 02:05:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Good to know that the idea is getting some support. But guys lets face it - there are over 200 million blogs in existence. That's a figure that doubled in 4 months so you can imagine it to double again in the next six months, if not sooner.

By the end of the year, the number should be easily in the range of 500 million. How many of those blogs will have Structured Blogging features?

Now, even if the actual number of active blogs in English is one-tenth of that - 50 million, you still have an impossible task if you rely on plugins that have been downloaded 2742 times so far.

There's no way you can gather any kind of critical mass which makes structured blogging useful through the plugin route. I'm talking about adoption by at least a million users which would be 2% of the 50 million figure, which is one tenth of the number of blogs that will be there worldwide by December 2006.

So my suggestion to you would be to

a) focus all your energies to getting the top blogging vedors to support it.

or

b) abandon the illusion of mass adoption by consumer blogs and focus exclusively on corporate knowledge management.

15 March 2006 at 11:47:00 GMT+5:30 link  

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