A microformat (sometimes abbreviated μF) is a web-based approach to semantic markup which seeks to re-use existing HTML/XHTML tags to convey metadata and other attributes in web pages and other contexts that support (X)HTML such as RSS. This approach allows software to process information intended for end-users (such as contact information, geographic coordinates, calendar events, and similar information) automatically.
Definition of Microformat – Wikipedia.com
Example: In the text “The birds roosted at 52.48, -1.89” is a pair of numbers which may be understood, from their context, to be a set of geographic coordinates. With wrapping in spans (or other HTML elements) with specific class names (in this case geo, latitude and longitude, all part of the geo microformat specification.
How Microformats Are Used
Using microformats within HTML code provides additional formatting and semantic data that applications can use. The use of microformats can facilitate in exporting a geographical location to maps such as Google Maps.
Advantages of Microformats
Using microformats has advantages. They enable the publishing and sharing of high quality sounds, images, and other information on the Web. You can share your microformat with content providers, ensuring that you’ll get content in the right format and you don’t need to do anything to that content before presenting it to the user.
Microformats and WordPress
WordPress is somewhat microformat enabled. The special code makes your web pages readable by not only people, but computers are able to make sense of your page also. Microformats are extremely useful when applied to themes. You can add them to one place and enable your whole site.
“Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns.”
To learn more on various Microformats :