God’s Word | our words
meaning, communication, & technology
following Jesus, the Word made flesh
June 19th, 2007

Bibleref: Going Public

As i’ve continued thinking about the bibleref idea (posts here and here), i’m convinced this could really open up some new and interesting opportunities for finding Bible-related information on the Web. Since wider adoption is required to really make this useful, i’m going to push forward with a campaign of sorts to see if the biblioblogger community agrees.

Though i’m not so naive as to think i actually know how things work, here’s how i’m trying to move forward:

  • I’ve posted a set of bibleref pages at SemanticBible.com: an overview, a more formal specification, as well as some suggestions for how others can help and a place to describe new tools as they become available. Some of this material was freely borrowed and/or re-purposed from this post at OpenBible.info (to happily give credit where due).
  • I’ve also created an online discussion board where people can comment, critique, etc.: you’ll find that at http://semanticbible.com/forum/. I’ll try to take an active (though not heavy-handed role) in any discussion there.
  • I expect several early rounds of iteration on details of the spec, though it’s so simple that the core should be quite stable and usable as-is. Please provide any feedback you have, either in a comment here, by email, or on the forum.
  • Creating tools will be the next step to helping people understand why this matters, and getting ready for advocacy. This is a plea for help!
  • Once the details have stabilized and some tools are available, i plan to step out of my comfort zone and actually write to a number of leading bibliobloggers, suggesting they adopt the bibleref standard, and try to get others on board.
  • Once the early adopters have signed on, i’d like to think seriously about doing something on the aggregation piece, which might involve spidering blogs or other more ambitious projects. Given enough mindshare, the folks at Technorati might be convinced to process bibleref markup: that would be a huge step toward mainstream adoption.

I’m not a campaigner by nature, but i really think this matters, and i’m willing to do what i can to drive it forward. I’m trusting that if it’s a good idea and enough people get it, things will gather momentum. If you blog and use tags on your posts, let me suggest you include “bibleref” as a tag on related posts, to make it easier to track the discussion across the blogosphere.
Some other comments and bibleref-related news:

  • Tim at SansBlogue picked up on the bibleref idea, which gave me the opportunity to clarify an important point: this isn’t for people, it’s meant to enable search engines and aggregators to do a better job of identifying something we care about finding.
  • Chris Roberts has released a new version of his ESV WordPress plugin that includes bibleref support. This is a nearly painless way to start supporting bibleref: thanks Chris!
  • Heal Your Church Website talks about more fundamental issues of tag semantics: don’t use b and br tags when there are more appropriate elements. Amen brother!
June 17th, 2007
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