A new tool has surfaced – Syncato. From the Syncato introduction:

Syncato is a weblog system designed to extract the maximum potential from the content of your posts. All posts in Syncato are stored as XML within a native XML database and are searchable using XPath queries. This includes the ability to execute XPath via a URL from within your browser.

What this really means is that the limitations on how you use and reuse the content on your site is only determined by how you markup your posts. For minimal reuse you can just use standard XHTML, but the real power of Syncato comes when you go beyond that and add additional markup to increase the meaning of your content. What you want to do is up to you. The more information you add to your posts the more useful it will be to you and to others.

In reality Syncato is much more then just a weblog system, it’s an XML fragment management system. Those fragments can represent weblog entries, comments about those entries or just about anything else. Using the facilities of the system you’re then free to combine those fragments together however you desire. And just as with your weblog entries, your XML fragments are available via XPath and HTTP.

Richard MacManus writes: “Syncato can aggregate “XML fragments”, which includes comments on a weblog. So could I include in my blogroll several XPath queries to aggregate conversations I’m interested in? Instead of making an RSS feed out of a comments thread, which is what I originally suggested and which some people have already implemented on their blogs, I could run an XPath query from within my blogroll which would aggregate comments from that same thread. This process has the advantage of being driven by the weblog reader, rather than the writer. i.e. it’s not up to the weblog writer to produce an RSS feed, the reader can simply run some XPath queries to effectively create their own feed. The power to aggregate shifts to the subscriber rather than the producer, which is where it should be in the Two-Way Web. Of course this means that producers have to write their posts in valid XML, but that is where Syncato comes in – it’s a weblog authoring product that produces valid XML. Further, because each comment is a unique chunk of XML, you could aggregate more than just a single conversation thread (that is attached to a single weblog post). Using XPath and associated XML technologies, you could pick up comments on a particular theme or topic from the whole weblog – or extended further, the whole blogosphere. How rich would conversations be then!”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.