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Catching Up With rNews At NYC SemTech

By   /  October 16, 2012  /  No Comments

What’s the latest news about rNews ? Attendees at the SemTech event in NYC Tuesday had a chance to find out.

“The future of rNews 1.0 is rNews .1.1,” said Stuart Myles, deputy director of schema standards at the Associated Press who also heads up the International Press Telecommunications’ Council’s Semantic Web work. At next week’s IPTC meeting a vote will be taken on V. 1.1, with its adoption the hopeful outcome.

Based on feedback from the community that works with the standard for marking up publishing metadata in a Semantic Web compliant way, proposed additions include things like a new property to express how or when news articles should be expired. “Not all publishers want news on the web indefinitely,” Myles said. “That’s an example of a property we have added.”

rNews, he noted, also continues on the alignment track, the first example of which was its alignment with schema.org. “We also are working with other standards like [those for] expressing geographic information, .so we are making sure rNews stays aligned with those other efforts and to document this as well as we can.”

Another initiative to formally kick off next week involves looking at how to express the rNews type data model in JSON, he noted. “Because of the way it’s structured, rNews being the underlying data model that represents properties, we are to some extent agnostic as to how you implement it.”

Meanwhile, a head count of organizations leveraging rNews at this point adds up to 25 major publishing outfits, says Andreas Gebhard, Director, Editorial at Getty Images, Inc. That includes, of course, the NY Times.com; semantic technologist Evan Sandhaus of the newspaper of record also is one of the driving minds behind rNews. It can boast of some 70,000 articles to date that contain rNews, Gebhard says. The list also includes names like NYDailyNews.com, MTV.com, Sciencemag.org, Endgadget.com,Telegraph.co.uk and many more.

“The Hour implemented rNews and they said it is possible to implement this on a slow afternoon,” Gebhard says, quoting The Hour’s former web development director. “It shows that yes, if you have the time and a somewhat simple and small templating system, if the circumstances are right, it is possible to perform a viable rNews implementation within short order.”

Other adopters of rNews include Drupal’s premier package, OpenPublish, and WordPress via its RDFaCE-Lite plug-in. “Tools like Drupal are really the foundation for widerspread rNews adoption,” says Gebhard. “If they make it simple to enable rNews, more or less with a one click option, that translates into a lot of very easy — and hopefully a lot of — deployments across the Web, which is when other consumers will find it interesting to build applications on top of rNews.”

NewsRight, which began as an AP project a few years ago and provides a news registry for publishers, as well as a rights clearinghouse and licensing service, also has been a supporter of rNews since the early days, he noted. “Another earliest and most outspoken supporter of rNews is Parse.ly,” he says. The Parse.ly service, which The Semantic Web Blog covered here, gives publishers insight into what topics have an upward trajectory or perhaps are losing steam, so they can appropriately allocate resources. “rNews is their metadata standard of choice,” he says, with Parse.ly making its onboarding process an rNews implementation. “That’s exciting news for us.”

In fact, analytics are a key part of the rNews story. Says Sandhaus, “Should you mark your content up that way an analytics platform sitting on top of HTML can see things like how many page views are routed to a specific concept, not just an article.. That’s  rather difficult to accomplish with most HTML-side analytics tools.”


About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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