AB Meta: What It Can Do

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What is AB Meta?

AB Meta is a simple, RDFa-based format for annotating pages that are about things.

A book publisher can use AB Meta to provide information about a book such as the author and ISBN, a restaurant owner can provide information such as the cuisine, phone number and address and a movie reviewer can annotate reviews with movie titles and directors.

The format allows site owners to describe the main thing on the HTML page using standard META headers. The AB Meta format also allows content owners to declare multiple things in each page using standard RDFa notation.

The benefit of AB Meta is that it makes it easy for software to identify things--books, music, movies, recipes, restaurants, wine and more--inside regular HTML pages. With AB Meta, search engines can find and classify pages to help users interact with real things instead of flat HTML pages. Here are more benefits:

  • Object-centric: Focuses on everyday things that we encounter around the web
  • Semantic: Upgrades pages to be part of growing Semantic Web
  • Lightweight: No complex markup, can work without changes to the body of the document
  • Intuitive: The names of things and attributes are in plain English
  • Efficient: The meta headers are easy to get to without parsing entire HTML page
  • Extensible: Additional attributes and concepts are easy to add
  • Compatible: AB Meta is built using existing RDFa standard

Who should implement AB Meta?

AB Meta is simple and beneficial for many web sites, because it makes the content more discoverable. Here are some examples of pages that are a good fit:

  • Book publishers, book review sites and blogs.
  • Movie home pages, movie review sites and blogs.
  • Electronics manufacturers, electronics review sites and blogs.
  • Record labels, music review sites and blogs.
  • Restaurant home pages, restaurant review sites and blogs.
  • Recipe review sites and blogs.
  • Stock review sites and blogs.
  • Wineries, wine review sites and blogs.

How is AB Meta Related to Semantic Web?

AB Meta is part of the bigger effort to annotate web content to be machine readable. This effort, broadly known as Semantic Web, was first suggested by Sir Tim Bernes-Lee. AB Meta is part of the so-called bottom-up approach, which is generally considered difficult because it requires the content owners to annotate pages. AB Meta is made simple and easy to implement, so many content owners will be able to support it.

How do I add AB Meta headers to my Wordpress Blog?

There are many Wordpress plugins that allow you to specify meta headers. We  recommend HeadMeta plugin by Dougal Campbell.

How do I add AB Meta headers to my Typepad Blog?

Currently you can add custom header to posts only if you are using Advanced Templates.

Can AB Meta be extended or changed?

AB Meta is designed to be extensible. Additional meta data can be provided by adding the attributes that are not part of this specification. If you'd like to let us know attributes that should be made permanent via this spec please email alex [dot] iskold [at] gmail [dot] com.

Get Involved!

This version of AB Meta was developed by Alex Iskold (AdaptiveBlue) with help and support from Peter Mika (Yahoo!). To get involved please email alex [dot] iskold [at] gmail [dot] com

 

AB Meta Example: Book

AB Meta is best understood through an example. Consider a page that describes a book - a product page or a book review on a blog or a page on a publisher site. A simple example below illustrates how AB Meta can be used by placing the standard meta tags inside of the head element of the HTML page:

The Kite Runner

AB Meta for this book

The namespace in the HTML tag declares that AB Meta is present on the page. The HEAD tag says that the page is about a Book and the META tags define the attributes of the book. In the markup above only title and the author attributes are required and the rest are optional. This example should give you a flavor of AB Meta and to learn more please look at the full specification.

 

Who is using AB Meta?

Several companies have already implemented AB Meta and more implementations are on the way:

 
O'Reilly Media

O'Reilly Media

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, research, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly has been a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter. 

UGO

UGO

UGO Entertainment has devoted the last 10+ years to serving the Gamer audience. The company's flagship website, UGO.com, and its owned and operated properties provide quality interactive content and editorial for more than 35 million monthly unique visitors around all things central to the Gamer Lifestyle. 

blippr

blippr

blippr is a really easy way to discover, talk about, and organize great apps, books, games, movies, and music. We figure that hey, why not make it easy to talk about and then find even more great stuff to talk about?. 

Zecco

Zecco

Zecco is the first free online brokerage. Zecco allows its members to trade stocks for free provided they have a $2,500 minimum balance. Zecco's social networking platform, ZeccoShare, allows users to post their portfolios and join likeminded groups of investors. 

StockTwits

StockTwits

StockTwits is an open, community-powered investment idea and information service built on top of Twitter. The service extracts meaning from Twitter and aggregates messages that are about specific stocks, organizing them into a coherent conversation. 

eBooks About Everything

eBooks About Everything

We, at eBooks About Everything, love books. We are thrilled that eBooks are becoming a real force in the book market and we are working to promote e-reading of great books...new and old alike. eBooks About Everything is the place to find eBooks for your digital lifestyle. 

Dawdle

Dawdle

Dawdle is the gamer's online marketplace - we make it as easy as possible to buy and sell all of your games, systems, and accessories online. We're built from the ground up for gaming, with a 100% guarantee on all of your transactions. 

 

The Ultimate Movie Site

The Ultimate Movie Site is a movie destination for reviews, ratings, clicks, photos tickets and everything else for movies. 

Tigerbow

Tigerbow

TigerBow is a gift sending site that helps its users to send actual gifts to virtual places. The point is that now people will have a chance to send real gifts online to a desired recipient in US only by using their email or Facebook profile, without having to know their postal address. 

Bookarmy

Bookarmy

Bookarmy is a social networking website for every sort of reader. Bookarmy is the place to discuss and review books, build reading lists, get the best book recommendations, and where you and your friends, family or classmates can read books together. 

Unbridled Books

Unbridled Books

Unbridled Books is a premier publisher of works of rich literary quality that appeal to a broad audience. We want to be able to continue our longtime discussion about what allows a novel to touch our hearts and our minds at once. 

BookSwim

BookSwim

BookSwim remedies the high cost of owning books by providing a Book Rental service that allows unlimited rentals per month on a monthly subscription plan. 

 

 

Who should implement AB Meta?

AB Meta is simple and beneficial for many web sites, because it makes the content more discoverable. Here are some examples of pages that are a good fit:

  • Book publishers, book review sites and blogs.
  • Movie home pages, movie review sites and blogs.
  • Electronics manufacturers, electronics review sites and blogs.
  • Record labels, music review sites and blogs.
  • Restaurant home pages, restaurant review sites and blogs.
  • Recipe review sites and blogs.
  • Stock review sites and blogs.
  • Wineries, wine review sites and blogs.

How is AB Meta Related to Semantic Web?

AB Meta is part of the bigger effort to annotate web content to be machine readable. This effort, broadly known as Semantic Web, was first suggested by Sir Tim Bernes-Lee. AB Meta is part of the so-called bottom-up approach, which is generally considered difficult because it requires the content owners to annotate pages. AB Meta is made simple and easy to implement, so many content owners will be able to support it.

How do I add AB Meta headers to my Wordpress Blog?

There are many Wordpress plugins that allow you to specify meta headers. We recommend HeadMeta plugin by Dougal Campbell.

How do I add AB Meta headers to my Typepad Blog?

Currently you can add custom header to posts only if you are using Advanced Templates.

Can AB Meta be extended or changed?

AB Meta is designed to be extensible. Additional meta data can be provided by adding the attributes that are not part of this specification. If you'd like to let us know attributes that should be made permanent via this spec please email alex [dot] iskold [at] gmail [dot] com.

Get Involved!

This version of AB Meta was developed by Alex Iskold (AdaptiveBlue) with help and support from Peter Mika (Yahoo!). To get involved please email alex [dot] iskold [at] gmail [dot] com

 

ABMeta.org