Information retrieval through semantic clarity

Microformats are an extension of HTML and are used to define things such as contact information, events, link relationships, syndicated content, and personal relationships. This information is then extractable for use in other applications through a variety of tools including the Operator and Tails Export plug-ins for Mozilla Firefox, Technorati’s Contact Feeds Service, the Safari Microformats plugin, and Remy Sharp’s microformat extraction bookmarklet.


The hCard microformat is used to markup contact information. It is based on the vCard format which is the international standard used by many address book applications including Microsoft’s Outlook and Apple’s Address Book. Information from hCards can be easily translated into vCard and can be imported as-is into a variety of applications. The hCard microformat has been used on 72ppi.us to markup contact information on the home page, as part of the source attribute for each photo, and as the attribution for all comments posted in the blog.


hAtom is used to markup content that can be syndicated, allowing content marked up with basic HTML to become syndicatable. While it doesn’t replace Atom or RSS which are XML-based syndication formats, it can the be extracted into an Atom feed. On 72ppi.us blog posts and comments have been marked up with hAtom.


Tags are used to label, and through tag spaces, organize, content. Tags are the exclusive organization method used on 72ppi.us. All photos are tagged with words and phrases that describe them and there is a common tag space (which can also be accessed through a tag cloud) to view other photos with the same tag.

Additional Resources

There are a variety of resources out there for learning more about microformats, including the official microformats site. In print form, two books that are incredibly useful are:

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License to Joseph Bergantine.