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Experiments with schema.org

August 26, 2013 7 comments

Directly quoting from schema.org:

This site provides a collection of schemas, i.e., html tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.

Many sites are generated from structured data, which is often stored in databases. When this data is formatted into HTML, it becomes very difficult to recover the original structured data. Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data. On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web. Markup can also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure.

My favourite band, New Model Army, are touring later this year so I thought creating a website for their UK tour dates would be a good way to experiment with schema.org markup. First off we have a webpage for the UK leg of their winter tour:

http://www.johngoodwin.me.uk/event/newmodelarmy-uk-wintertour-2013

which is a kind of Music Event, and this is related to a number of sub events such as:

http://www.johngoodwin.me.uk/event/newmodelarmy-uk-Aberdeen-20131112

which is also a kind of Music Event. Each of these events are related to a venue, via the ‘location‘ predicate:

http://www.johngoodwin.me.uk/venue/The-Garage-Aberdeen

I have related each of the venues to locations in the Ordnance Survey Linked Data using the contained in predicate.

For each of the events I have included further markup such as the start date, end date, ticket sites (via the offers predicate) and also links to other pages about the event via sameAs. Similarly I have linked pages about each venue to other pages about that venue via sameAs.

All of the markup is done using RDFa. You can view the machine readable content using the Google Structured Data Testing tool or this RDFa Parser. Here are some examples:

New Model Army UK Winter Tour 2013: rich snippets, RDFa distiller

Aberdeen tour date: rich snippets, RDFa distiller

The Garage Aberdeen (venue): rich snippets, RDFa distiller

Mapping is provided by OS OpenSpace.

Extra: someone asked me what the experiment was. Maybe not much of an experiment really, but simply put I’m curious to find out what happens should these pages get picked up by Google et al., and curious to see what they do with them.

New Model Army Equipment Theft

June 5, 2012 1 comment

My favourite band New Model Army have not had a good year so far. First the band had a fire in their studio, and over the weekend they had equipment stolen from their van after a show in Bilston.  On the off chance someone reads this and can help here are some details from the band:

We all really enjoyed our first gig with new bass player Ceri Monger (02/06/12). Unfortunately, our van, parked outside the Holiday Inn Express, Walsall, was broken into over night and most of the band’s guitars and small items were stolen. We would like to thank all the people and bands who lent us equipment in order for us to play the Strummercamp Festival Sunday night. The stolen equipment includes both Marshall’s Gibson Les Pauls and Justin’s two Lowdens that had previously survived the fire(!). We would be very grateful for any help in retrieving this equipment – the full list is:

Gibson Les Paul Custom – red (serial number 2051429)
Gibson Les Paul Standard – black (serial number 90362428)
Epiphone Riviera – red with tremelo arm (serial number R97C0572)
Lowden 025 acoustic guitar with pick-up (serial number 5131)
Lowden 025 acoustic guitar with pick-up (serial number 12288)
Gibson SG – black (serial number 8176566)
Fender Precision bass – black

All these items were in new or nearly new Hiscox guitar cases

Evolution Keyboard (serial number MK361C – 222941)
Ampeg SVT 3 amplifier head
Fender Blues Master guitar combo (serial number B-181446) USA model 110volts.
Custom built pedalboard containing three way control unit for Blackstar combo amplifier, 2 x Boss digital delays, tremelo and tuner pedals and a Cry-baby wah pedal
Boss pedalboard containing Boss digital delay, bass overdrive, chorus, compression, and tuner pedals
Gator 2U case containing AKG guitar radio receiver (serial number AK3254-001272)

All these items were in new or nearly new cases

Heavy multi-guitar rack
Flight case containing tools for guitar repairs
Bag containing microphone stands/drum loom
Bag containing guitar cables, looms, power supplies, plectrums, capos, two guitar radio transmitters

If you have any information please call the Police Station (crime number 20WS/91324T/12 -
Walsall Police Station 0345 1135000) or email us at info@newmodelarmy.org

Categories: Music and gigs

Top Music Releases of 2009

January 2, 2010 6 comments

Been a great year for new music. Here is my top 10:

1 New Model Army – Today is a Good Day

NMA probably hit a career low with their Strange Brotherhood album (which still contained some great tracks…but best listened to live). Since then the albums have been getting consistently better with each release. This one sees them at their anthemic best. Watch the album sampler here or what the title track here.

2 Eden House – Smoke and Mirrors

Probably does them a bit of an injustice to call them a goff supergroup. The brain child of Stephen Carey (ex-This Burning Effigy) and featuring various members/ex-members of Fields of the Nephilim/Nefilim/Faith and the Muse/All About Eve etc. Quality gothy proggy folky music. See for yourself here or here.

3 Crippled Black Phoenix – The Ressurectionists and Night Raider

Main reason I checked this lot out was because they were supporting New Model Army on the UK tour. Liked what I heard…and even better live. You can hear tracks from this album in session here. Elements of rock, prog, folk, post-rock.

4 Senser – How to do Battle

A welcome return from the rap/metal crossover act. Quality stuff certainly on a par with their early material. Resistance Now!!

5 Mono – Hymn to the Immortal Wind

Probably my favourite post-rock act. This is their latest (and IMHO) best release. Check out Burial at Sea.

6 Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures

Definitely a supergroup. Sounds like Queens of the Stone Age with a bit of Led Zep thrown in. Not a bad thing and not surprising given the band members. Live video here.

7 Soulsavers – Broken

Mainly got into them because I’m a big fan of Mark Lanegan who does the vocals on this album. Mixture of folk, gospel and rock. Have a listen.

8 Ricky Warwick – Belfast Confetti

Great collection of songs from former Almighty frontman. Title track can be seen here.

9 And So I Watch You From Afar – And So I Watch You From Afar

Often get pigeoned holed as post-rock from what I can tell, but really just good quality instrumental rock music. Check out this video.

10 Jello Biafra – Audacity of Hype

Good stuff from former Dead Kennedy’s front man. Loud, angry punk/rock.

Categories: Music and gigs
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