Today's Obsession: Identifying Abstracts

Google announced last week that the company’s going to begin tracking authors of items, rather than just the sites the items appear on, by applying a tag to a link which looks like rel="author" and in the context of a link, looks like <a rel="author" href="../authors/johndoe">John Doe</a>

Why it took them this long to realize and apply the notion that a person’s creative identity is equally, if not more, important as literal information is beyond me. But obviously, I’m no engineer, and logical systems are an interesting diversion to me, not a lifelong cataloging enterprise. That doesn’t stop me from wondering why Google waited this long to use a personal identity as a criteria for rank; it totally speak to their bias of machines over people.

This material is to be cataloged using a new series of markup tags (over a hundred!) to help catalog movies, authors, and other abstract types of information that machines themselves can’t automatically grok. This list of tags can be seen and used from their publication at, launched in conjunction between Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

There’ve been accusations of the beginning of a web-based semantic land grab, a controlling of abstract info on the web. Notably, on the other side of with a competing standard called RDFa are the W3C and Facebook. So this could easily be seen as a competitive move from Google against Le Zuckerberg.

And you thought technology was just technology. Nope—it’s all money!