ReviewXML for RSS

RSS should be expanded to facilitate the rudiments of reviewdata, given the extraordinary prevalence of the use of blogs forreviewing purposes. This could be easily facilitated withone new sub-element of item

<review>

Having the following attributes

  • rating – numeric from 0 – 10, 0 being least.e.g. “10”
  • category – from a common,pre-defined taxonomy of categories. e.g. “Book”
  • guid – A guid for the item in question,formatted in a category specific manner.

All description and other links are facilitated by the existingRSS schema.

For example.

<rss>
  <channel>
     …
    <item>
      <title>The Tipping Point: HowLittle Things Can Make a Big Difference</title>
      <description>Blah blah blah. Blahblah blah.</description>
      …
      <review rating=”7″category=”book” guid=”ISBN:0316346624″ />
   </item>
    <item>
      <title>Casey’s FoodPit</title>
      <description>Blah blah blah. Blahblah blah.</description>
      …
      <review rating=”2″category=”restaurant” guid=”905-555-5555″/>
    </item>
  </channel>
</rss>

This is just off-the-cuff, as I was thinking of putting up somecomments about the book The Tipping Point. Of course RSStook off because of its brutal simplicity, so Ikept this as simple as imaginable (without resortingto namespaced schemas or complex structures to facilitatethe varying data needs of each domain).

Surely there has to be widely accepted solutions in this spacealready?

My motivation is that I’m a big believer in owning your own data- Countless sites, including a lot of the Web 2.0 business plans,rely upon the fact that you will effectively hand over data tothem, working as a free contributor to build their value. Ifyou’ve reviewed books on Amazon.com, for example, or a digitalcamera on epinions.com, you’ve helped them build their own value.Sometimes this sort of arrangement is worthwhile (I’llhappily host my pictures on Flickr because the return isworthwhile), but many times it is not.

Indeed I’d say that a good portion of the blog revolution wasusers taking control of their own data to some extent. Why post aninsightful comment on some random message board, increasing thevalue to the message board, when there is little benefit foryourself In the new era others can use your data – RSS aggregatorsfor instance – but they have no monopoly or advantage outside ofuniquely and innovatively providing some sort of added value.