Getting my Dublin Core on

I had only heard about Dublin Core a matter of months ago when I was using a tool to check out how awesome your markup is, at the time of discovering them I had done a little research and asked to see if many sites in the wild were using it.

To be honest I didn't come up with much during a lackluster search and kind of forgot about the whole thing.

Tonight though, I was perving over the source code of a particular lovely site and I was reminded of them.  Seeing them in the wild on a site I liked was more than enough to get me interested again and to dig out the meta tags I had made the first time around.

What is Dublin Core?

I may as well start off this post with a description of what Dublin Core which I have taken straight from the official Dublin Core homepage;

The mission of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is to provide simple standards to facilitate the finding, sharing and management of information.

You can read more about Dublin Core at the Dublin Core 'About' page but essentially it is some meta data you can chuck into the markup of your site which will get used by various different spiders and crawlers to help categorise your website.  Here is what I have added to my markup on this website;

Dublin Core Example Dublin Core Example

Why Use Dublin Core?

I am sure there is a part of you thinking, but we already have meta data, why would we bother bloating out our code with this stuff?

I had initially thought pretty much exactly that but a handful of things made me decide to go ahead and use it;

  • They help to give your content more meaning - There are limitations to the current meta tags that come standard as part of the HTML spec.  These help to get around them.
  • They help clarify your thinking - When I was looking at the tags I could potentially include (I have not included them all) I had to ask myself many questions, including the as yet unanswered one.  What license do I make this site?
  • Others are doing it - Why would you exclude your site from certain lists and things for the sake of a couple of lines of code?
  • It can help others - If you can make it easy for your site to be categorised, why wouldn't you?
  • I love xCore - Grindcore, Hardcore, Deathcore - Why not Dublin Core? ;-)

How to use Dublin Core

I would suggest doing the following steps;

  1. Read the documentation.
  2. Decide if it is right for you, never blindly add anything to your site, make sure you are doing it for reasons you at least understand.
  3. Visit the Dublin Core Generator, this makes create the meta tags a breeze.
  4. Make the changes.

Other Tools

The only other tool I have came across bar the generator was a firefox plugin for viewing Dublin Core meta data, called, rather inventively, Dublin Core Viewer.

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