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semantic web cartoonthe idea to classify content on the web so machines can understand, cluster and reshuffle is being discussed under the label of the semantic web for quite some time already. syndication by RSS so far is the only usage that has reached a broad audience (if you disregard meta tags, they haven’t really met expectations set into them).

now amazon goes a step further and introduces a usage of RSS that could take the semantic web well deep into web search: A9 opensearch. any website owner can offer site search that puts out RSS results and connect it to A9 users can then add such sources of search as “columns” into their personalised A9 experience. they decide which sources they want to search. with that innovation A9 sets to become the first “meta search engine” that really deserves the name.

yet the real innovation with opensearch is not a search engine offering a syndication interface. the real innovation is that that A9 opensearch will (hopefully) cause many website owners to build standardised, RSS-based site search any application can query, far beyond A9. the optimist i am i forsee a variety of services using RSS-based site search that will be mind-blowing.

(via russ beattie, who has already adopted his site search for RSS output. cartoon by fix.)


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