[uf-discuss] microformats enabling social network portability today

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Wed Aug 22 07:58:09 PDT 2007

As I'm sure many of you have seen on various online services, there's been a
lot of recent discussion of "social network portability".


I first either coined the phrase "social network portability" or collected
it from some other source I saw online this past November* and brainstormed
a general problem statement on the "user-interface" page.


Plaxo actually issued a press release announcing their support for
microformats and an "open social web" last month:


days later: a last minute meetup organized between myself, Brian Oberkirch,
Eran Globen, and Daniel Burka (as a result of a chance meeting between Brian
and myself at the Satisfaction launch party, appropriately enough)



we simplified and crystalized a problem statement (with progressive problems
to solve), and I moved the existing work that had been done, and all our new
brainstorms and thoughts and solutions to a separate page:


This past weekend at BarCampBlock the topics of microformats and social
network portability came up several times as you can see by the events I


Anyone else who attended those events is invited to please add themselves to
the "attending" section(s) and collect any notes/links etc. that they have.


Where we are TODAY

While there are numerous blog posts and big ideas floating around about how
to solve all social network portability problems eventually at some point in
the FUTURE, the microformats community has both *solved* and *implemented*
both building blocks for, and several user scenarios for social network
portability TODAY, as noted in our 2nd anniversary blog post:


And the pages documenting the growing services that support social network
portability using microformats today:



What next

Connect your site to the open social web.

If you work on a site that has user profiles, please follow the design
patterns and recipes:


In particular, if your site has profile pages for people, add hCard support,
and let new members create profiles by reusing the hCard user profiles on
other pages as Satisfaction has, and better yet, by subscribing to.

If your site has a notion of "friends" among users, support XFN on friend
links between user profile pages, and support adding/removing friends
semi-automatically by reusing the hCard+XFN social network on other pages,
as Dopplr has.

Please provide feedback, issues, questions, etc. on the issues page:




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