Data standards for real estate listings
In an open letter to Yahoo, Google, Trulia and Zillow, the RETS community (Real Estate Transaction Standard) encouraged a data standard for real estate listings so that home sellers and others who list real estate online can easily take one listing and make it work for all the participating websites. So instead of having to rewrite the listings for each site's particular style of listings, it only has to be written once. How very, oh, web 2.0.
With the speed that data standards are sprinting along, it's only going to be a matter of time until everything (that is useful anyway) has been reduced to standards that allow for maximum compatibility across services. Data standards for other areas such as classifieds, documents, and online personals may be closer than we think. Or maybe that's just a usability lover's pipe dream.