Wednesday, July 12, 2006

ICRA Basics

The Internet Content Rating Association ( has a more sophisticated system. It appears to be headquartered in London (UK), to operate worldwide, but to be very small given the ambition level of its product.

The webmaster fills out questionnaires and templates about aspects of the site's content. The system generates Record Descriptors -- am RDF (or XML file) that is to be inserted in the site's root directory. This file has pointers to all the different content level combinations. Then each file (usually the HTML header) must contain LINK statement to point to the correct combination on the root directory RDF. The philosophy follows that of the "semantic web" of W3C.

For a site to be certified, every file has to be labeled. Images can be labeled with digital watermarks, but there seem to be issues with some file types (like PDF's) that would necessitate more vendor development. It may be easier to properly label a site with a content management system, or with content generated from style sheets (especially XSL, which might limit readability to Internet Explorer). There are many issues to explore here, and I will try to give more details as I can develop them.

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