A9 Release "Site Info" as Open Standard for Toolbars

Source Title:
A9 SiteInfo page
Story Text:

I've been fascinated with A9's toolbar for a while and have found it interesting how they offer so many end-user AND Webmaster customization options.

They just pushed a new toolbar version out today and it includes a "SiteInfo" feature, whereby Webmasters can post an xml file that details the content hierarchy of their site, and that full list will be included under the "Site Info" menu on the A9 Toolbar when people visit their site.

Amazon has stressed that this is an 'open standard' and available for adoption by other companies.

My questions to you:

  • Do you think this is actually a helpful feature?
  • Will Webmasters actually use it (I realize this and the last question are quite a chicken-and-egg pair)?
  • Will other companies actually embrace this open standard? Does Amazon even expect others to do so, or is calling it "open" just a publicity stunt?
  • On the chance that this DOES get widely adopted, do you forsee that search engines could use this to aid in the recognition or positioning of search results?


d'oh... thanks for adding links to my post :)

'twas my first tw original thread, and I appreciate someone adding in some relevant links for me. I'll keep that in mind for the future :)

no problem :)

no problem :)

>>Do you think this is

>>Do you think this is actually a helpful feature?

Potentially but that rather depends on adoption by other toolbars also - i'd find it helpful *if* i used a toolbar, maybe...

Will other companies actually embrace this open standard? Does Amazon even expect others to do so, or is calling it "open" just a publicity stunt?

I'd be prepared to wager a relatively large sum on NO. And yeah, i think it's designed more to get blog posts, maybe a little slashdotting if they're lucky than it's about actually getting other toolbars to adopt, or providing a genuinely useful feature.

Im not answering the last point, it's silly :)

If A9 catches on, this may

If A9 catches on, this may well catch on. Heck I might make a Siteinfo file for one of my directories just to see how it works.

I do suspect other third party toolbar makers will pick this up if it is open source. I mean if you were Groowebar why not add the capability? Also if I were a smaller engine or general directory making my own toolbar I would implement this feature too.

Similar but different

That's the annoying thing. These two protocols are different, but could and should have been combined, IMHO.

Amazon's SiteInfo provides a structure for users, presenting them with a navicable hierarchy of one's site.

Google's SiteMap provides a structure for search engine bots detailing both what the spider should check and how often it should check it (optimal update interval).

I see no reason why this stuff couldn't have been combined with little hassle, enabling people to maintain one sitemap.xml file that'd serve info to both spiders and toolbars. I'm guessing that Google and Amazon folks just don't have the lines of communication that foster such collaboration.

Then again, maybe there are arguments for keeping these files as separate entities that I'm just not seeing?

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