[uf-discuss] Re: microformats for groups and group memberships?

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Thu Aug 10 09:28:26 PDT 2006

Hi Jim,

You should take a look at some of the list's "prior art":




On 8/10/06, Jim Dalton <jim at ere.net> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm fairly new to this list, so forgive me if this topic has been discussed
> before or if the information is available on the wiki (did my best to search
> both and came up with a blank). I'm probably not as technically savvy as
> many of you either, so my apologies in advance for inadvertently butchering
> terms or concepts.
> I'm interested in how microformats are being (or could be) used to define
> both memberships of individuals to a group, organization, company, personal
> network etc., as well as defining a member's "role" within that
> group/organization.
> The hcard format gives us the ability to define an entity as an
> organization. The XFN specification defines relationships between
> individuals. Nothing in these microformats (or currently proposed
> microformats) seems, however, to allow one to describe a list of members in
> an organization as well as the members' roles within it.
> I'm curious if there is information or discussion that have already taken
> place, or if this is an idea for the group to consider?
> Thinking about it for a minute, I would see implications for:
> * Groups in social networks - Defining a list of members in a group, as well
> as each individual's role within the group (e.g. leader, administrator,
> member, etc.).
> * Personal networks in social networks? Defining a list of members in an
> individual's personal network, along with each indivdual's "role" (i.e.
> relationship via XFN?) in the network.
> * Employees of an organization - An employee directory, for example,
> indicating job title (i.e. function/role) in the organization.
> * Membership in real world groups - e.g. churches, schools, community
> organizations etc., along with roles (e.g.
> principal/administrator/teacher/student).
> * Other possible uses: groups of contacts in a contact database? client
> lists? etc.?
> There would seem to be many examples in the wild where groups and group
> membership are presented.
> My ability to think through actual hypothetical structures is probably more
> limited than others on this list, though the first concept my mind fixes is
> on is the "feed" structure, where a parent feed has child entries. The above
> concepts seemingly fits such a parent/child concept.
> That's about where I run out of steam, and am mostly curious about what
> others think rather than continuing to babble. Thanks for any thoughts
> and/or assistance from the group.
> [FYI, the thinking I'm doing on this particular topic is in advance of some
> reworking my company is doing on its existing niche social networking
> service. I'm pushing for greater structure (and use of microformats) on our
> content and entities. The above "groups/memberships" concept is the one area
> that I have yet to find a place where an existing or proposed microformat is
> relevant.]
> Sincerely,
> Jim Dalton
> jim at ere.net
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> microformats-discuss at microformats.org
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Chris Messina
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