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New types for stories #2646

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vholland opened this issue Feb 13, 2020 · 38 comments
Open

New types for stories #2646

vholland opened this issue Feb 13, 2020 · 38 comments
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@vholland
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Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc all have the concept of "stories". With the maturation of AMP publishing tools, web sites are also publishing "stories" which blend media across a single page. Examples include:

Schema.org does not have a type that captures this idea. It would be good to have a type under CreativeWork that covers these.

I propose adding 2 new types:

SocialMediaStory: A story published on a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram.
WebStory: A story published on the web.

Alternatively, these could be joined under one type, but I don't have a good name for that.

@rvguha
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rvguha commented Feb 13, 2020 via email

@vholland
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Good point. I was thinking that social media often has different properties than the web, but we can add subtypes or specialized properties later if the need arises.

@RichardWallis
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My initial reaction is that they are examples of Article "An article, such as a news article or piece of investigative report. Newspapers and magazines have articles of many different types and this is intended to cover them all."

Looking at the National Geographic example, it does seem to stretch that definition somewhat, into the realms of a multimedia-article but I think the spirit of article is still visible.

Maybe we are looking at an addition to the list of Article subtypes.

@Aaranged
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Aaranged commented Feb 13, 2020 via email

@RichardWallis
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Couple of thoughts...

Firstly with the use of isPartOf & hasPart 'traditional' Articles can often consist of several component parts, text, images, mediaOjects etc. However I still think what we are discussing here still stretches that concept somewhat.

The amp.dev link that @Aaranged provided demonstrates a need for what I would describe as a composite-CreativeWork. The afore mentioned isPartOf & hasPart are useful in describing the contents of and nesting CreativeWork elements. Although not impossible, the description of ordered contents and nesting has always been a cumbersome task, and would need improvement in tis context.

It is probably right to concentrate the addressing of such capabilities at the CreativeWork level to make these efforts as broadly useful as possible, using this specific use case to define a specific type and test the design.

Secondly, naming. "Story" has specific meaning in the examples referenced, but also can have broader generic meaning. We already have a ShortStory type. So I think we need to consider naming carefully.

There is also something that could be considered around a possible Page type, useful in the description of physical pages and (as a super-type) for WebPage, WebStoryPage, etc.

@rvguha
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rvguha commented Feb 14, 2020 via email

@vholland
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To address some of the comments.

Like @RichardWallis, I considered Article or even ShortStory, but those tend to assume the contents are predominantly text and this concept is more about mixed media. It seems better to have a new type with properties for this idea.

I agree with @Aaranged that these are not "stories" in any traditional sense. Personally, I don't like the term, but AMP, Instagram, etc have all consolidated on it, so it seems easier to go with that then try to invent another term. I would like something that distinguishes these as stories in less traditional sense of the word, so went with WebStory.

I think at some point we (in schema.org and ontologists in general) will need to grapple with how media is changing and some of the artificial distinctions like PodcastSeries vs RadioSeries vs TVSeries are more about the technologies than the works themselves. But as @rvguha pointed out, we can argue those points for a long time and I am ultimately a pragmatist. I would like to give authors something before we take on redefining subclasses of CreativeWork.

@RichardWallis
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WebStory would be ok

@rvguha
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rvguha commented Feb 14, 2020 via email

@RichardWallis
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Yes Good question - does a printed out ImageObject become a photograph?

To accommodate an amp story, instagram story, etc. how about MultimediaStory?

Although ’ok’ WebStory feels a bit specific to a potentially narrow use case area.

@WeaverStever
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WeaverStever commented Feb 15, 2020

A couple of thoughts,

A blog is sometimes a story, except chronology is written in the reverse order of how one might want to read it. I've looked into presenting Blogger blogs in reverse chron order, it's not a trivial thing to do. Additionally, some blogpostings in a blog series might not be relevant to the "story."

Another interesting use might be where a researcher wants to cobble together a page full of otherwise unrelated snippets to create a new story -- a cross between a wiki article and a search result?

Finally, most social media pages implement lazy-loading, where the older content is not loaded until the reader scrolls down. Being able to document and permalink the post(s), without having to scroll through pages and pages of dynamic loading after the fact, could be useful. I.e. an embed post widget with associated structured data and an adjustable episode number.

@rvguha
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rvguha commented Feb 15, 2020 via email

@vholland
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MultimediaStory works for me.

@rvguha
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rvguha commented Feb 24, 2020 via email

@philbarker
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Story is a very wide concept, and unless you want to include fairy stories, short stories (ShortStory), fictional tales in general and news stories (already covered by NewsArticle) it would help if the name stories from social media reflects that. All those examples can be on the web or multimedia, and arguably that's nothing to do with their fundamental nature as a fairy/short/news story.

So I preferred the original SocialMediaStory, but drop WebStory. By analogy to photographs, if it's generated through social media it stays a SocialMediaStory however it is reproduced. Likewise a ShortStory is a ShortStory whether it's told in print, on the web or orally.

@vholland
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@rvguha I am not sure I am following. All of the use cases I have seen are multimedia, which is why I would like a new type so we can differentiate cases where the various media components are critical to the greater work.

@rvguha
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rvguha commented Feb 25, 2020 via email

@RichardWallis
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A generic CreativeWork subtype of Story "An account of imaginary or real incidents and or events" would work as a superclass for MultiMediaStory and ShortStory

@vholland
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Adding Story and MultiMediaStory sound good to me.

@vholland vholland self-assigned this Mar 13, 2020
@RichardWallis
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@vholland any progress on his or do you want me to pick it up?

@RichardWallis RichardWallis transferred this issue from schemaorg/schemaorg Jul 13, 2020
@danbri
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danbri commented Jul 13, 2020

This conversation sounds like it got pretty confused, because the word "story" is used as a technical term for media-centric, ephemeral personal aspects of user interface in things like Instagram, Snapchat and numerous other platforms. But it also means "story" in the broader historical sense of the word. It looks like a lot of talking past each other is happening in this thread so far.

@vholland if there is interest in the AMP ecosystem for us to provide vocabulary to support the former, we ought to try to help. AMP makes heavy use of Schema.org for news articles and related concepts. Is there still interest? If so then "Adding Story and MultiMediaStory sound good to me." is the best sketch I've seen so far here.

@RichardWallis RichardWallis transferred this issue from schemaorg/suggestions-questions-brainstorming Jul 13, 2020
@schemaorg schemaorg deleted a comment from RichardWallis Jul 14, 2020
@vholland
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There is still interest in adding MultiMediaStory. I can create a PR if that is helpful.

@RichardWallis
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That might be useful for folks to kick the tyres on.

I think where we go to on Feb 25th would be a good start point:

CreativeWork > Story > MultiMediaStory
.................... > ShortStory

@vholland
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I discussed with some folks within Google. This is targeted at AMP stories (now known as web stories). "Web stories" would be ambiguous, so I am inclined to call a horse a horse and add a new type https://schema.org/AmpStory under https://schema.org/Article.

@jvandriel
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jvandriel commented Sep 24, 2020

To be honest I don't really agree that it's supposed to be named AmpStory and would prefer WebStory. If I look at https://wp.stories.google/ for example the focus really lies on the term 'Web Stories' and therefore expect the vast majority will be searching for a type that resembles this naming (many probably won't even be aware of AMP's part in this).

vholland added a commit to vholland/schemaorg that referenced this issue Sep 24, 2020
@vholland
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@jvandriel I went back and forth on WebStory vs AmpStory. If I search for both terms, "web story" gives many pages related to other things called web stories, but "amp story" was unambiguously about this idea. With that said, I am happy to change to WebStory if folks prefer that.

I implemented the type in PR #2719 .

@danbri
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danbri commented Sep 30, 2020

Noting @jvandriel's concerns here, I think nevertheless we should start with AmpStory, because it gives us a clear thing to point to. We can leave open the possibility of adding a supertype WebStory if it emerges that there are a significant cluster of things known commonly as "web stories" which don't all stem from the AMP way of implementing them.

danbri pushed a commit that referenced this issue Sep 30, 2020
* Issue #2646: Added AmpStory

* Update issue-2646.ttl

Fixed error
@vholland
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I created PR #2727 with the release notes.

@danbri
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danbri commented Oct 1, 2020

@jvandriel - to elaborate - I argued for this having "AMP" in the name, on the basis that the only possible implementation work I'm aware of is the (AMP-based) thing. It isn't clear to me what expectations people have around "web stories" --- e.g. whether it might come to be a label for "this kind of interface style in general" regardless of implementation technology, underlying standards etc.

@jvandriel
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jvandriel commented Oct 2, 2020

Thanks for your responses @vholland and @danbri. I understand your point of view on this and agree it might be best to go with AmpStory and leave WebStory as a possibility for more general purposes in the future.

Do wish Google had gone with AMP stories instead of Web stories though. Seems marketing all too often gets in the way of clarity (oops, did I say that ;) )

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@Aaranged
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Aaranged commented Dec 2, 2020

Regarding the naming conversation I get why "AmpStory" was chosen.

However, I think the description that's been minted in Pending is, as a result, now insufficient:

A creative work with a visual storytelling format intended to be viewed online, particularly on mobile devices.

AMP stands for "Accelerated mobile pages", yet there's no mention of this anywhere on the page - and without it half the type's name, "Amp", will make no sense to those without that prior knowledge.

@MichaelAndrews-RM
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I object to this proposal, because it seems specific to a proprietary, Google-defined standard for the web, Accelerated Mobile Pages. Even Google has publicly committed to moving away from giving this formulation special treatment. See: https://themarkup.org/google-the-giant/2020/11/19/as-antitrust-pressure-mounts-google-to-pull-back-benefit-to-news-sites-that-adopted-its-preferred-mobile-technology Moreover, the formulation seems to be anti-competitive, where publishers feel they need to adopt a proprietary approach to realize performance improvements https://digiday.com/media/google-amp-likely-to-stay-in-publishers-mobile-product-plans/ I would like to a platform-agnostic proposal that doesn't talk about AMP, if this is even necessary. What is the greater good being served by this proposal?

@SteveCastle
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It seems unlikely that AmpStory is a good choice for a name. This type sticks out like a sore thumb amongst all of the other terms as the only one with a specific reference to implementation technology.

danbri added a commit that referenced this issue Dec 1, 2021
@danbri
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danbri commented Dec 1, 2021

I've just committed a small tweak to address the media-aspect of @vholland's original request. This type now has an additional supertype of MediaObject, which makes using properties such as regionsAllowed or uploadDate natural.

e400cc2

On SteveCastle's concern that embedding the name AMP in a schema.org term name is out of character:

  • It is clear from the discussion log above that when we used very general terms like "Story", it caused confusion. It looked like the type represented stories in the cultural sense, narratives etc.
  • The intent here is for the type to capture something more specific. The AMP folks themselves are using WebStory. I don't think it is clear yet how that name is shaking out. If it becomes established we can add that as a supertype.
  • The actual proposal was motivated by AMP Story usecases. My preference would be for whatever is being built to also work for non-AMP "story-like" content formats, but Schema.org has no say in this.
  • As for whether naming a technology this way is inappropriate, I consider this analogous to https://schema.org/gtin
  • As often the case with schema.org I think we should start with something specific motivated by usage and then generalize, rather than starting at the very general and hoping the result applies to the original usecase.

@newmuis
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newmuis commented Feb 4, 2022

👋 Hi all, glad to see this thread! Quick disclosure: I am the facilitator of the stories working group within AMP (i.e. I lead engineering for the AMP Stories/Web Stories media format). I'm happy to help however I can, as I already spend most of my days thinking about what constitutes (or does not constitute) a story.

It would certainly be difficult to capture all of the details of the Web Stories format within schema.org metadata (and, I would expect this to be true for any single vendor), but there are some high-level pieces that are true for all stories (and perhaps also generalize better to other implementations).

I certainly defer to the schema.org experts as to how best to actually structure the schema, and which approach is best in terms of specific ➞ generic vs generic ➞ specific.

That said, I do hope we end up in a world where a generic exists, as stories are absolutely a proven, generic construct, with billions of users daily across platforms on which they surface. I'll also note that we shouldn't limit stories to their social media origin; folks like Netflix, Google, Spotify, and others have all used stories for informational use cases.

@danbri
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danbri commented Feb 4, 2022 via email

@newmuis
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newmuis commented Feb 4, 2022

Sure!

Here are a few web stories that utilize different features:

These are some basic properties of stories that I happened to have listed on hand; there's quite a bit more depth though. There are optional UI components that may or may not be included (e.g. HTML forms, hyperlinks, etc).

At a very high level, I would say these apply to all web stories (and likely apply more broadly to other implementations as well):

  • Stories are an ordered sequence of one or more "pages" (feel free to use a different name for generalized constructs)
  • Each page has a collection one or more elements (images, videos, text, quizzes, links, etc)
  • Stories may have title, publisher, and thumbnail metadata

For an intermediate level of detail, I tried creating a JSON schema with some of the more-commonly used functionality (with the caveats that (a) some of these fields are purely presentational, (b) this is an unofficial schema, and (c) because it's unofficial, the doc strings aren't very comprehensive):

https://newmuis.github.io/story-schema

And for the ~full spec, see:

https://amp.dev/documentation/components/?format=stories

And as I said, definitely feel free to reach out any time, I'm happy to help!

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