Saturday, September 16, 2006

The drumbeat of XPRL

Last Thursday, there was an XPRL meeting. Chris Heuer was among the attendees and he has an excellent report of the meeting on his Social Media Club blog.

First I have to say how delighted I was to meet Chris who I met via an introduction from For Immediate Release. He is great fun. It was very generous of him to make the effort to fly the Atlantic in time for the meeting and even more so to be invited to the inauguration of the London Chapter of the Social Media Club.

His summary of the central XPRL issue is this:

As the Chair of the group, Mike Granatt was trying to dig at some key questions, including “Why would the large stakeholders support this effort tactically and financially?” The group came up with 4 primary answers that I noted (in addition to several other secondary reasons):

  1. Financial savings through decreased effort required and easier interoperability of disparate systems that would lead to projects that have greater impact than traditional press releases.
  2. The added value of search engine optimization through distributing structured information instead of the typical unstructured format
  3. A stronger potential for measurement and tracking than currently exists with clipping services
  4. The future capabilities and innovations that will come as a result of a common standard

The nitty gritty part for me is the notion of interoperability. Which means that a client is able to use information, from many sources and plan and implement aims and strategies with tactical ease. The need to respond to developments that offer advantage or disrupt relationships as communication gets faster and to a wider audience means we now need new tools. They need to be able to draw together and distribute information and need a common, global language. We now need the underlying technology in place.

As I put it on Chris's blog:

XPRL needs to become the background drumbeat to the tools we use in our work. Without it, PR can have no rhythm and it is forced to serve the pounding timpani of others while our work is served up in musical phrases, each a delight but together, a cacophony lacking harmony and coherence. In an Internet mediated era, the output becomes ever more raucous.

Its a good time to get rhythm.

One of the best bits on his blog post are the photos of the event which he posted to Flickr.