It can sometimes be difficult to turn non-techies onto the idea of microformats. Whilst those with an understanding of the importance of semantic markup and creating pages rich in information can quickly grasp the idea, it can be a bit more of a shift in thinking for others. Part of the reason for that, is that it’s not always easy to demonstrate the benefit of this informational richness. The idea can leave the average user asking, “so what?”.
This is why it’s great to see a steady increase in applications designed to consume microformats, not just produce them. One such example is Endo, a feed aggregator for Mac OS X. Endo has built in support for the hCalendar microformat for marking up events. When a feed contains a payload marked up with hCalendar, Endo extracts the data and offers an option to add the event to the iCal, the OS X calendaring application. Neat!
In order to demonstrate this in action, I put together a quick screencast. I’m not expecting to be shortlisted in the Best Screencast category in next year’s Academy Awards or anything – but hopefully it’s not a cringe-worthy for you to watch as it is for me. I think it goes some way to demonstrating how useful microformats can be.