idea: todo: semantic web date selector

Web Page as an API

Have you ever heard the expression “your web page is your api” and wondered what it means? A web page is a document. A web page that belongs to you documents the things you’d like to say. In other words, it’s a platform for you to declare your likes and dislikes, events and lots of other things. If you have a web page or a blog, chances are you’ve declared things like events, friends, various happenings, and things you like and hate, regardless of what the actual subject is.

Through Semantic HTML

When visitors come to your page, they read your documents and often learn something about you. Humans come with incredibly sophisticated parsers that allow us to automatically determine and understand your likes and dislikes. Computers have ways of understanding documents too. An especially good way is for computers to use declaritive technologies, like HTML. If there were a way to declare your likes and interests, events, and relationships in HTML, a computer might be able to act a little smarter. It wouldn’t actually be smarter, it could just act smarter.

Enter Microformats

One way to use HTML to add what you already publish is to use microformats. For example, I hate using date selectors. They are always so clumsy to use, and most of the time I’m using one, it’s not the first time for the particular date I’m looking for. I usually already chose the date, and now I’m doing it again. For example, someone somewhere used a calendar to publish my sister’s Thanksgiving break on a web page. I wanted to buy her a plane ticket, but had to use a clunky date selector. If the school calendar had been marked up with hCalendar, or if her blog had an entry that mentioned the break, I could simply have clicked on “Thanksgiving Break” instead of correcting my poor guesses TWICE!

Enter Syndication

Have you seen the recent Cisco commercial? They envision a world where people are subscribed to people, not magazines. I do too. In fact, I think even computers should subscribe to me. If I’ve got an account on Eventful or somewhere, I should be able to log in, using openID (so I don’t have to create a new account with a new password. man how I hate that…), to kayak.com and tell them to subscribe to my events at eventful. They should watch my events for months ahead of time. Then they should tell me when the best fare is lowest. Automatically. I should be able to purchase the ticket easily, only messing with a crummy date selectors once: when I create the event.

The Widget

I’d like to make a widget that allows you to tell a date selector where to get events from, and allow easy selection of dates using already published events. I think the first step is to support microformats, since html is probably the most published format in the world. When I’m done, it will serve as a proof of concept that things can be better. Machines can subscribe to me, instead of me constantly asking them to do something. I should only have to enter my data once. Why? Because I’m more important than a machine.

The Semantic Web is ready. Soceity is ready. Implementors wanted.

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

    I’m Out! :)


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