First, The Good News

By   /  September 27, 2011  /  No Comments

When it comes to, there’s some good news – and some ‘eh’ news.

Let’s start with the positive stuff. Today at the schema blog, the news was released that has added to its NewsArticle and related types such as CreativeWork new properties for mark-up based on the rNews standard from the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC).

In what’s being tweeted and re-tweeted as “Big Semantic News” and “another major boost for #Web scale #LinkedData from Google,” the collaboration with IPTC members and rNews evangelists Evan Sandhaus, Stuart Myles and Andreas Gebhard that expands support for marking up news articles enables capabilities including:

  • The ability to specify a dateline for an article or provide information tying the online article to a printed version, such as the newspaper section and page where the article appeared.
  • Support for user comments that’s applicable to news articles as well as a variety of other item types.

Not to put a damper on things, but this news comes just a day after the Springest Devblog reported it was having some trouble with the world of microdata. It blogged that its site changed its name from Eduhub to Springest in July and lost the rich snippets for the site’s course pages that have reviews, because the change involved a move to a different domain that has to be manually whitelisted by Google.

Poster Ruben Timmerman writes: “Of course we redirected each page from the old to the new domain, and we added support for the new and improved Microdata, instead of using Microformats like we did before… Well, seems to have been a bad idea! Google recommended this in the launch on their official blog. And on their help page about rich snippets, is linked as the source to add rich snippets via microdata to your site. And on the Google FAQ about the question is answered unambiguously”. But, he writes, “after two months of waiting for Google to re-enable our rich snippets, we decided to switch back to Microformats to make sure we at least have a chance to be included again.”

Some comments indicate that getting whitelisted solves the issue, and Google software engineer Pravir Gupta weighed in with some sites currently using markup. But looks like some questions still remain, such as issues around the Rich Snippets testing tool, that still give Springest pause. Noted Timmerman, “This all still feels like going with’s recommendations was a bad idea, although we of course would like to support the standards as proposed…”



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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