A MicroContent Item needs a container in order to be exchanged and re-used. One can think of a file as a container. In order to encode the MicroContent Item into the file, one needs a [[format]]. \n\nOne can have two possibilities ([[2416|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2416/]]):\n1-1: Then a single MicroContent Item is encoded in a single file. The metadata of the file contains ifor instance information on the creation date/time and the author of the file. Enclosures in RSS-feeds are examples of such single Items [[(2228|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/longhorn_rss/]]).\n1-n: It is also possible to encode multiple MicroContent Items in a single file. This is then a MacroContent Container([[2179|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/micro_versus_macro/]]). Each of these Items might be of a different MicroContent Type, i.e. Compound ([[2184|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/compound_blogs/]]). \n\nAn publisher might create many MicroContent Items. He could either create many containers, each for each item, or a single Container with all Items in a single file. There exists however a third possibility: the sliding view. A sliding view Containers has only a limited number of Items. Which Items are present in this sliding view Container, changes with time: new ones are added, old ones are removed.\n\nThe encoding method is based on a format, such as a [[MicroFormat|http://www.microformats.org]] ([[2207|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/site_microformatsorg/]]) or [[Structured Blogging|http://www.structuredblogging.org/]]. I will not discuss these formats (any many) others here. A problem is that for the same MicroContent Type multiple formats might exist ([[2614|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2614/]], [[2374|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2374/]]).
MicroContent is a generic term for an addressable structured indivisible self-contained piece of digital information ([[2225|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2225/]]).\n\nMicroContent contrasts with Content in general thanks to the use of these adjectives ([[2185|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/microcontent_definition_thoughts/]]):\n\n- Self-contained: the piece of information can stand on it's own. There is no need for context. All the meaning is contained in itself. This allows a MicroContent Item to be single, to live on it's own. ([[2228|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/longhorn_rss/]])\n\n- Indivisible: this implies that the piece of information, the MicroContent Item, can no longer be cut into smaller useful pieces.\n\n- Structured: MicroContent does not consist of a single blob of information, but it has structure. One can distinguish between metadata and internal structure. Metadata is information that pertains to the publication of an MicroContent item, such as the author, the publication date/time, the permalink, etc. The internal structure can be limited to a single field, which contains the actual information. However usually more [[Fields]] are used. (is there a relation with Dublin Core here?) The [[Fields]] used in a MicroContent Item defines the MicroContent [[Type]].\n\n- Addressable: MicroContent is addressable on the Internet. This implies that it has a permalink, or better an (perma)URI. The permalink is an essential part of the structure of MicroContent. The addressability of a MicroContent Item is what makes MicroContent interesting.\n\nNote that I do not user the word small as this has become ambiguous. The word MicroContent can also apply to pieces that are in fact very large in terms of megabytes. Sometimes the word small is used in relation to screen size, such as a mobile phone. ([[2419|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2419/]]) Ideally a MicroContent Item is flexible, that it is possible to add new fields and thus enhance the structure of an item ([[2225|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2225/]]). We usually think of MicroContent as computer data, but that does not have to be the case.\n\nThere might exist a relation between Items. The relation might be episodic, meaning that the Items are a sequence in time. ([[2420|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2420/]], [[2419|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2419/]], [[2199|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/flow_categorisation/]])\n\nThe word Content should be seen in the range data, information, content and knowledge. Data refers to how things are transcribed in computers. Information is what is stored, Content is about presenting to the user and knowledge is the meaning the user takes out of it. (note to self: this is a lousy definition. there are better ones around). ([[2245|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2245/]]))\n\nOne can look at MicroContent from various perspectives ([[Views]]).
The internal structure, the [[Fields]] of a MicroContent Item defines the MicroContent [[Type]]. Many [[Fields]] however are very common and appear in many MicroContent [[Type]]s. I present here the most common Fields:\n\n- description: the is the basic field. Usually it is just a piece of text;\n- title: a single line, which describes the MicroContent Item;\n- tags: a list of words, which describes the MicroContent Item The publisher determines the tags he uses. There are some ideas in standardising some tags around ([[2254|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2254/]], [[2583|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2583/]], [[2208|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2208/]]);\n- geotag: this field allows a user to define the earth location (longitude and latitude) of an Item. ([[2421|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2421/]], [[2407|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2407/]], [[2305|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2305/]]);\n\n- author: any Item is created by someone, it has an author. I think any Item should have an author or source otherwise it will be anonymous. ([[2576|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2576/]]);\n\nOne should distinguish between the type of the field (text, integer, real, uri) and the semantics. For URI one sees that one tries to encode the semantics through a rel= tag. ([[2288|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2288/]], [[2278|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2278/]], [[2199|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2199/]])
Naturally the idea of MicroContent and the word itself has not appeared out of nowhere. \n\nDatabase concepts seem to be the basis of many concepts of MicroContent. Thus a MicroContent Item can be seen as a database record. The big difference is that a record can live outside a database engine, somewhere on the Internet.\n\nJakob Nielsen [[wrote||http://www.useit.com/alertbox/980906.html]] a classic piece on Microcontent, although he did not use the word microcontent as it is used here. In the piece he basically urges to write clear page titles and subject lines. This idea can be extended to any field of a structured MicroContent Item. He saw the importance of structure well before my time.\n\nOther definitions of MicroContent:\n- Definition of Anil Dash;\n- MicroWiki;\n
This web-page is a consolidation of the things that I wrote on my MicroContent Musings blog. I noticed that I started to repeat myself, implying that my thoughts and ideas became morer stable. Thus it was time to consolidate my thoughts in a MicroContent way. I present here various concepts that I use for the world of MicroContent.\n\nBut before I introduce the various concepts around MicroContent, first a [[Definition]] is needed.
One sees that also multiple MicroContent Items get a special name, for example a blogroll or a reading list. I call these however Lists, thus one can have a BookmarkList. ([[2629|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2629/]])\n\nAnd one can have several types as List depending on the relation between the separate Items. Thus one can have episodic Lists, which order is based on the (reverse) publication date. Blogs and cartoons are an example of this. This is usually also the order used in feeds.\n\nOne can also see threads (as used in comments) as Lists. In that case the order is hierarchical and the Items are distributed over the net ([[2350|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2350/]], [[2290|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2290/]]).
[[Introduction]]\n[[Definition]]\n[[Views]]\n[[Type]]\n[[Fields]]\n[[Container]]\n[[Usage]]\n[[History]]\n[[ThankYou]]\n\n© [[MicroContent Musings|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings]] 2005\n\n\n<<newTiddler>>
definitions and terminology
This web-page was created thanks to [[TiddlyWiki|http://www.tiddlywiki.com]].
MicroContent is most easily demonstrated through some examples. Each example identifies a MicroContent [[Type]].\n\n- Bookmark: a reference to another MicroContent Item. This will contain at least an identifier (a link, ISBN-number, etc.) and a title. But also comments might be added. A bookmark is something very generic. It can be used for the classic bookmarks, but also for attention or reviews; ([[2444|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2444/]], [[2377|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2377/]])\n\n- Image: a two-dimensional array of pixels. Each pixel represents a colour an intensity. An example of an image is a photo. ([[2609|[[http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2609/]])\n\n- Recipe: all the information that is required for preparing a dish of food. A recipe has a lot of internal structure, such as directions and a list of ingredients.\n\n- Address Cards : information about a person. This can range from telephone numbers and street addresses to profiles. ([[2284|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2284/]])\n\nI use the definition that a MicroContent Type should be defined by a single MicroContent Item. One sees however that also multiple MicroContent Items are called MicroContent. I call these a MicroContent [[List]].\n\nEven by defining a Type of MicroContent one has not solved everything. For instance a drawing or a photo can be represented as an image. And a bookmark might point to a physical book in your library or to a website. The same is true for audio (music, ringtones). So for each MicroContent Type one also has to define it's semantics. \n\nMany more examples of MicroContent can be mentioned. A few ones that I came across are: Applications ([[2241|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2241/]]), BlogRolls ([[2415|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2415/]]), Comments ([[2195|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2195/]]), Comics ([[2386|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2386/]]), Events ([[2355|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2355/]], [[2211|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2211/]]), LiteratureLists ([[2397|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2397/]]), Ratings ([[2282|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2282/]]), ReadingLists ([[2412|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2412/]], [[2410|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2410/]]), Reviews ([[2374|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2374/]]), Ringtones ([[2231|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2231/]], [[2201|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2201/]]), VideoLogs ([[2396|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2396/]], [[2247|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2247/]]), Whisky Data ([[2385|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2385/]]).\nIt seems that there is no limit on the number of examples: MicroContent is Everywhere ([[2600|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2600/]]).
This [[Definition]] of MicroContent has several implications for usage:\n\n- DataLibre: MicroContent Items should owned by their authors. An author should be able to change or delete an Item. Many services however do not this. Commenting functions of blog-systems are an example. ([[2209|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2209/]])\n\n- Re-use: the basic idea around MicroContent is that allows for re-use of an Item. There exist many possibilities for re-use. Re-use is also called mashup. For optimal re-use one needs hooks to copy&paste&link a MicroContent Item. I call these the basic MicroContent Operations. ([[2557|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2557/]], [[2426|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2426/]])\n\n- Distributed: one of the basic ideas is that anyone can publish any MicroContent Item of any Type. MicroContent can be distributed. It is up to the various Service Providers (Aggregators, Mixers, etc.) to rassemble all the distributed Items for re-use. This contrasts with all centralised solutions, which often also provide a walled garden (you put something in, but can not take it out) ([[2591|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2591/]], [[2581|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2581/]]);\n\n- MicroWebbing: once there are many single MicroContent Items on the Internet, one can start to connect them. There are many ways to connect the items. One can distinguish between aggregation and MicroWeb. In a MicroWeb one connects a single Item with another single Item. The structure of MicroContent allows to aggregate on the Field level. Thus one can create TagClouds, i.e. all Items sharing the same tag ([[2192|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/field_aggregation_or_clouds/]]). Trackbacks and pingbacks are ways to create the MicroWeb by linking individual Blog Items ([[2183|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/first_reaction/]]) \n\n- In order to help the creation of these webs one needs Operations. These operations help a user to make copies, make links, etc ([[2210|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/reblg_and_other_services/]], [[2206|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/service_rblg/]]). Operations are functions offered to the user by services or applications.\n\n- InfoCloud: a user will publish many Items and use many Items. This is the users' InfoCloud. One can extend the idea of an InfoCloud to a TagCloud, i.e. all the tags a users in interested in ([[2193|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/service_tagcloud/]]). Related to this is the discovery of all the feeds/Items of a person (BrainRoll) or business. ([[2204|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/identity/]], [[2200|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/enterprise_dla/]], [[2197|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/dla_feed/]])\n\nStrongly related to re-use is privacy, access control and licences. ([[2254|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2254/]])
One can look at MicroContent from various viewpoints:\n\ninformation viewpoint - the first viewpoint describes the information contained in MicroContent Items. This branch defines the various MicroContent types and the meaning of the types. This implies thus also the meaning of each field of a MicroContent type. And I guess that the definition of MicroContent itself also falls in this branch. Related tags are: definition, type, review, blog, etc;\n\ninvocation viewpoint - this viewpoint deals with the users of MicroContent. It describes the necessary processes, protocols and tools. Related tags are: services, clients, netnewswire, etc.\n\nprovisioning viewpoint - this branch is about the creation and publishing process of MicroContent Items. It is about how the how author creates Items, how and where the Items get published. Related tags are: blogsystems, formats, structuredblogging, rss, xhtml, clients, ecto, etc.\n\ndevelopment viewpoint - this branch is about developing new MicroContent types, Related tags are xsd, etc.\n\n([[2226|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/comments/2226/]])
One can look at MicroContent from various viewpoints:\n\ninformation viewpoint - the first viewpoint describes the information contained in MicroContent Items. This branch defines the various MicroContent types and the meaning of the types. This implies thus also the meaning of each field of a MicroContent type. And I guess that the definition of MicroContent itself also falls in this branch. Related tags are: definition, type, review, blog, etc;\n\ninvocation viewpoint - this viewpoint deals with the users of MicroContent. It describes the necessary processes, protocols and tools. Related tags are: services, clients, netnewswire, etc.\n\nprovisioning viewpoint - this branch is about the creation and publishing process of MicroContent Items. It is about how the how author creates Items, how and where the Items get published. Related tags are: blogsystems, formats, structuredblogging, rss, xhtml, clients, ecto, etc.\n\ndevelopment viewpoint - this branch is about developing new MicroContent types, Related tags are xsd, etc.\n\n([[2226|http://www.sivas.com/microcontent/musings/blog/microcontent_domain/]])\n