Leveraging Industry Standards to Create a Compelling Web Presence
The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. They're valuable and are used throughout the web development process. Certainly the web is comprised entirely of standards, from HTTP to HTML, web services, transaction processes, linked data processes and new methods of sharing information across shopping channels like Milo.
Standards allow systems to communicate and help to save time and effort by not reinventing the wheel when it comes to sharing various types of data. If someone has done this before, can’t you borrow it? Don’t industries have standards for interoperability? If I want to share information amongst manufacturers in the supply chain of the aerospace industry, there are agreed upon specifications for transmitting data as well as unstructured content such as technical manuals, project-related documentation and proposals.
Companies that use channel sales can also syndicate content from their websites through partner sites in order to support end customers with help materials, manuals, troubleshooting guides and other content.
In the e-commerce realm, there are standards for transacting on specific websites — iTunes has a set of metadata standards that sellers must comply with in order for placement in the iTunes catalog. The rule of thumb here is that standards are very useful when transmitting and sharing information across companies, partners and suppliers.
Complying with standards ensures interoperability and is a source of efficiency. Syndicating content to a partner speeds time to market. Having consistent standards from a supplier makes it easier and cheaper to add products to a retailer's offering. Many new classes of functionality, such as integration with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, depend on shared web standards in order to transmit and receive information about user preferences and social commerce functions. (This is still in its nascent stage, but not something to be ignored in the future.)