Structured Blogging with COinS, and, Make Resolvers Better ASAP

I'd read about the "Structured Blogging" approach a while back but it didn't really catch my attention until a few days ago when their new templates were released, with support for microformats.

I installed the updated wordpress templates and set about adding COinS support to the book format. Got stuck in the templating syntax, but Phillip Pearson, the templates' developer, immediately wrote back with an answer to my question (and see "next in thread" for the final missing piece I left out in the first message).

So. COinS for books, built right into wordpress templates. Easily added to MT templates, too. Very cool stuff. Woah... and, he *just* responded (follow the rest of the thread) that he's checked in COinS support and it will come with the next template release. Doublepluscool.

But -- you knew there would be a "but", didn't you -- this only reminds me of how lousy our resolvers must look to "outsiders". Think about it... if you weren't a librarian who'd slogged through the licensing and linking wars, how would you feel about a user interface that did this:

  • You're reading something somewhere that makes you want to follow a reference link
  • You click it, and your browser window jumps to the side and shrinks by 3/4
  • The resulting tiny, off-to-the-side window tells you "could not find full text" but what you wanted was a book from off the shelf anyway, not a real book
  • If you keep reading (and who does, if there's no obvious picture with a link anymore?) there's a link that "allows" you to search the full catalog
  • The search-the-catalog link opens yet another window
  • If you're lucky, you find a bib record but it doesn't tell you where the book is unless you click it and
  • Hopefully it's available at a library location near you but
  • Goodness forbid, if the library doesn't have the book, it acts like it's never heard of such a book and TELLS YOU NOTHING ABOUT IT
  • Even though we have a gazzzillion APIs available at little-to-no cost which can indeed tell us something about it

It's terrible. Just plain terrible, and we need to fix this immediately. Maybe we could get a usability expert or two on it...



Congrats dchud, this is great news! I'll be keeping an eye out for the update. I think this could really be dynamite for getting coins out into the wild.

indeed, but... we just need a template for articles, and the parallel, openurl-profile-based microformats, and applications that use them all. :)