Funky to go

Joi Ito, presumably in response to this newswrote the following about a possible Microsoft strategy as regards to Google, searching, and metadata:

Google likes scraping html, mixing it with their secret sauce and creating the all-mighty page ranking. Anything that detracts value from this rocket science or makes things complicated for Google or easy for other people is probably a bad thing for Google.

I have a feeling they (Microsoft) will embrace a lot of the open standards that we are creating in the blog space now, but that they will add their usual garbage afterwards in the name spaces and metadata so that at the end of the day it all turns funky and Microsoft.

That’s a good read. The power behind Google is that the company owns the algorithms used to find data from the featureless mess of HTML that exists today. The more sophisticated the data storage, the less important the algorithms, and the less edge that Google has. Microsoft, by controlling the origination of much of this data can build in the missing knowledge about the data and basically undercut the ground on which the House of Google is written.

I also agree with Joi — Microsoft will then make it proprietary by their own funkiness. For those who think RDF is bad, try working with MS generated XML. If you’ve ever seen what the company can do to HTML generated from Word, I rest my case.

I don’t agree with Dave Winer, who wrote today:

Speaking of people who could be friends who are full of shit — today Joi Ito sings a well-sung but false song about Microsoft screwing with nascent standards. Joi, in RSS-land, MS is playing fair and square, so far (and so are AOL and Yahoo, btw). The people who are pissing in the soup are people you don’t have the guts to criticize. You’re in their blogroll, they’re in yours. Dig deeper dear Joi, really disassemble the lunacy of our little world, and do what you can to unravel it. Then, when and if Microsoft screws with us, you’ll have some credibility. Right now you haven’t got a leg to stand on.

I presume from all that blogroll talk that Dave means Six Apart, or the Pie/Echo/Atom effort.

I have no doubts that Microsoft won’t muck with RSS at this time — why should it? In the overall scheme of things, it’s only a syndication format, nothing more. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft isn’t working on creating its own metadata and ontology XML vocabulary and data model, one that it will share with others, of course, putting it at the center of knowledge-based query in the years to come.

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