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Saturday, April 16, 2011

rNews - News Metadata in HTML

I chair the IPTC's SemWeb group. This is the third in a series of short posts about IPTC's work on using Semantic Web technologies for news. (The first post discussed where we stand with Linked Data for News and the second post looked at News Ontologies).

The big news at our March 2011 meeting was that the IPTC voted to approve Draft 0.1 of rNews. This kicks off an experimental phase, in which we ask people to learn about rNews and give us feedback via the rNews Forum. We plan to incorporate all the feedback (and fix a couple of little errors that we've found) so that Draft 0.2 of rNews will be ready for the Berlin IPTC meeting in June.
The Path by cuppini
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuppini/539692848/
rNews and hNews
rNews is a set of specifications and best practices for using RDFa to embed news-specific metadata into HTML documents. It serves a similar purpose to hNews, although it uses a different technical approach. (hNews is a microformat - a set of conventions that make use of standard HTML elements and attributes to convey metadata). Although it is tempting to see hNews and rNews as rivals, I actually see them as supporting one another. And my suspicion is that tools that support one will pretty easily be able to support the other.

We're already starting to get some feedback on rNews, which is great. We've gotten some excellent questions about the rNews design philosophy from those with in-depth knowledge of the Semantic Web but little direct news publishing experience. And publishers who are old hands at the news business are looking at rNews as a way to learn more about semantic markup for their web content. Whatever your background, I encourage you to look at rNews and let us know what you think.

Thank You by theredproject
http://www.flickr.com/photos/theredproject/3302110152/
Getting There
The road to rNews started in the summer of 2010. Like any worthwhile technical standard, it required both articulating a vision of what we wanted to achieve and a lot of long conference calls, poring over the details in spreadsheets. I'd like to take this opportunity to particularly thank Dave ComptonJohn EvansAndreas GebhardJayson LorenzenEvan Sandhaus and Michael Steidl for their dedication in creating and refining rNews Draft 0.1

rNews Live!
I am excited about rNews and hNews and their potential to stimulate an ecosystem of tools for news on the web. I have some ideas for how this might happen, some of which I talked about in the recently-published interview about rNews with semanticweb.com.
NYC New York Times Building by wallyg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/2259318046/
I plan to share some more ideas about rNews at the upcoming New York Semantic Meetup "Meet the IPTC and learn about rNews", hosted by the New York Times. You should come by and find out more.

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