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RFP Microformat?

James has been hitting the (forgive me, dear readers) “RFP 2.0” need pretty hard of late. It seems to me that the idea of companies paying attention to blogs and the web for “Online RFPs” calls for an RFP microformat.

Seriously though, if we can hammer out the fields we’d need, it’d be “easy” enough to come up with a 0.1 version of the RFP microformat. Then we just need someone (technorati?) to aggregate it.

Imagine if you were Sun, IBM, or Jane’s Regional Network Hosting. You come into work and over your cup of coffee you type in “” and then a search string like “needs:bandwidth” and you’d get all the responses from people who’d written up RFPs for that sudden spike in Google<->iCal synching (or whatever else). Click a few more buttons — Skype, IM, email, adding a comment — and you’d be whirling up a sales cycle.

Sounds like one nice way to wrap money and even (pardon me again, dear readers) “Long Tail Economics/Marketing” around microformats and those nutty blogs we keep hearing about.

Disclaimer: Sun and IBM are clients.

Categories: Collaborative, Development Tools, Ideas, Marketing, The New Thing.

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12 Responses

  1. Indeed. That's the problem with microformats in general, right?

  2. Nice idea, the problem is making the requesters realize that they’re making RFPs though.

  3. well i called it and now the snowball is rolling downhill. even SOG thinks its an interesting idea. It would be an interesting way to completely change our industry wouldn't it? Analysts as RFP mediators…

  4. Interesting idea. I wonder how this would play in the Proposal Automation market? (e.g.,

  5. is a wiki and that crew are very open and responsive, so why don't you just open a page with your draft proposal and see what happens?

  6. Graham: I'll have to check that out. Thanks!

    BillSaysThis: yup, I agree. I just need to figure out the first set of attributes.

  7. "Seriously though, if we can hammer out the fields we’d need, it’d be “easy” enough to come up with a 0.1 version of the RFP microformat."

    Any samples? part of me says that RFPs exhibit highly variance. But maybe you're talking about excerpts/highlines for RFPs?

  8. "RFPs exhibit highly variance"

    Um, 'RFPs exhibit high variance'.

    [The rioja, it speaks in riddles!]

  9. Not being one who writes a lot of RFPs, I don't really know off the top of my head. At the Sun Analyst Summit, I had several conversations about hammering out the details from their side.

    I'd think we could just ask both the buy and sell side which attributes they'd want. And choose a narrow subset (maybe based on buying servers?) of that.

    [Insert hand waving.]

  10. A microformat would require following the process first -looking at how poeple currently express such ideas. Doc Searls’s VRM project is discussing these ideas.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] People Over Process » Blog Archive » RFP Microformat? love the idea (tags: RFP microformat Technorati Cote Governor RedMonk) […]

  2. […] One way we might move forward with such a service would be to subset and augment an aggregated online RFP microformat service. The data would be free for technorati style aggregation, while RedMonk’s edge would be our relationships with the folks that wanted something, or could supply something, or the the new opportunities we saw. […]