[uf-discuss] hCard slowing adoption of microformats?

Dan Brickley danbri at danbri.org
Sun Nov 23 10:59:58 PST 2008

Samuel Richter wrote:
> I read some blog posts this morning on microformats and a common
> concern (and I feel a legitimate one) is the "scraping of hCard's from
> web sites for future generations of spammers."  I believe that fear,
> if left unaddressed, will kill the microformat effort.  Has there been
> any discussion of this?

This is certainly a problem we have encountered with FOAF, which shares 
a lot of characteristics with microformats. For example, the FOAF feeds 
on tribe.net were taken down, 'cos users didn't like having their data 
re-aggregated and published elsewhere (such as on explode.us). In this 
scenerio the user doesn't even need spammable info in their FOAF or 
hCard to be upset, they just don't want the suprise of seeing their data 
appear elsewhere without warning.

My take is that we need to create incentives that benefit users, such as 
the ability to say 'sure, re-post my stuff, but on the condition of x', 
for some plausible 'x'. Such as 'post this chunk of banner-ad html a 
fair % of the time too, perhaps.




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