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HTML Social Network

26th Jul 2008

I've been happy to see XFN getting adopted as a lightweight way to add machine-readable interpersonal relationships to existing sites. As useful as that is, there's more to the social web than just people. I took a look at what sorts of social objects are out there on the popular social networking sites and how the sites link them together today. The result of this is a proposal for some rel values in similar vein to XFN that can be used to annotate these existing links. For the moment, I'm calling this HTML Social Network. To avoid biting off more than I can chew, for the moment I've stuck to just annotating links, leaving others to figure out what the best way is to publish the content at the linked URLs.

I'm interested to hear if others feel that this is a valuable problem to solve. I'd like to hear from other open social web enthusiasts and implementors how this proposal could be improved. I imagine that the end result of the discussion would be a set of smaller specifications, but one big all-encompassing proposal is easier for me to publish as a starting point.