XFN: Proposing rel='respect' (was RE: professional relations and XFN usage stats and Re: [uf-discuss]rel="muse" implies romantic relationship?)

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at gmail.com
Wed Dec 13 13:17:45 PST 2006

I always find it interesting how on a mailing list someone can make a simple
comment with a pretty small scope and then have the community run with it,
misinterpretting the original comment or suggestion, expanding its scope,
and then debating and often even criticizing the assuming original intent!
I've had this happen twice regarding comments I've made in so many days.

So please let me clarify that when I said:

>OTOH, I could use any of the following if attached to "professional":
>Respect, admire, impressed by,awed,  revere, worship, idolize, iconize.
>If would be nice if there was a way to extend professional respect and 

I was simply saying that I felt there was a strong need for ONE additional
value to be used in the "professional" relationship category.  When I blog I
frequently refer to people to whom I would like to include some form of
professional respect and admiration, but none of the words I thought of were
quite right. This has the effect of my just having no motivation to use XFN.
So in order to start the discussion about which ONE term to add, I listed
all the ones of similar meaning I could think of in hopes to have people say
"I think 'xxxx' would be best."

And at the risk of rehashing, I'll try to state clearly why I don't think
the current list is sufficient.  While the people who defined XFN 1.1
intended "muse" to be used for what I find missing, I am completely
uncomfortable denoting someone as my "muse" unless a.) they are of the
opposite sex, b.) she is a celebrity of sorts, c.) and I don't know her
personally.  As the web is mostly a social phenomenon I would contend that
although the use of muse makes perfect dictionary sense, the common use
"muse", especially when paired with "romantic" has implications I personally
would not want anyone to infer if I linked to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or
Linus Torvalds.  Call me uptight, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.

That said, I would like to propose that we add to XFN "respect" in the
professional category, or some other similar term which the community
decides is more appropriate, and increment the version to 1.2.

-Mike Schinkel

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