Evan Sandhaus reports for the New York Times that rNews has finally arrived. He explains, “On January 23rd, 2012, The Times made a subtle change to articles published on nytimes.com. We rolled out phase one of our implementation of rNews – a new standard for embedding machine-readable publishing metadata into HTML documents. Many of our users will never see the change but the change will likely impact how they experience the news. Far beneath the surface of nytimes.com lurk the databases — databases of articles, metadata and images, databases that took tremendous effort to develop, databases that the world only glimpses through the dark lens of HTML.”

He continues, “Consider The Bookstore’s Last Stand, a recent article on the challenges brick-and-mortar retailers face competing with online competitors. From our database, we have access to all kinds of information about this article. We know that the headline is “The Bookstore’s Last Stand.” That the article is by Julie Bosman. That the article is about Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and Book Trade and Publishing. We know that the article was published in print on the first page of the Sunday Business Section. Our databases tell us all sorts of really useful things about our content, but the HTML presentation of the content creates a problem. It obscures our hugely informative databases from the search, social and aggregation ecosystem.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy NY Times