Group Brainstorming

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Per the microformats process, this page is for brainstorming about ideas, proposals, constraints, requirements for a microformat for indicating people's membership of a group, and vice versa.

Contents

Problem

See Chris Messina's original thoughts on microformats-discuss.

Not every page belongs to one user. We need a microformat to define a group of people.

There are two distinct problems here though.

The problem that Chris's proposal describes is actually just one of tagging. By tagging people with the same tag, you "place" them into a group as defined by that tag. That's the model presented by Chris's ASCII art diagram.

The simpler problem to solve is perhaps the group equivalent of XFN

How does a person indicate that they belong to of a group?

How does a group indicate that a person is a member of that group?

A Proposed Structure

From Chris Messina's original post

--Group Name
  | Description
  | Tags
  |
  +--+ Members
  |  |
  |  +-- Member 1 (hcard)
  |  |
  |  +-- Member 2 (hcard)
  |
  +--+ Pool
     |
     +--+ Topic
         |
        +-- Post 1 (hatom)
         |
        +-- Post 2 (hatom)


This model is totally overdesigned. A groups microformat should start as simple as possible, meaning, nothing but the idea of a group and members. That's the 80% in common case across various systems. People in a group. A group with people. Nothing more. -Tantek

Add optional roles. Groups may have "admins", "moderators", or "members". Or if you were marking up a contributes page, you could have "programmers", "designers", etc. Is this what you mean by tags? - Josh

No, those are roles. I mean the very *name* of a group could be interpreted simply as a tag on a person.

For example a named group of bookmarks are nothing more than a tag that all those bookmarks share.

Any taxonomy of group roles (admins, moderators, etc.) should be postponed.

-Tantek

To keep it simple, could we say that hGroup is just a container for other microformats. That would cover members (hcards) and topics (atom). - Josh

No. Both (a) naming and (b) proposing a structure (container) are both premature for a microformat, until the proper research has been done and documented on the wiki. Please follow the process. -Tantek


Real World Examples

See group-examples for current implementations.

Rel Group Member Proposal

I think Eran proposed this first, but just to make sure it is captured:

I've used this format to describe group membership in a distributed fashion. It is kept very simple on purpose, defining only group membership (both ways) and group roles. The format is loosely based on XFN so it should look familiar to you. Take a look at the draft profile for XHTML Membership Format (XMF). --EranGloben 12:22, 10 Aug 2006 (PDT)

group member proposal FAQ

Possible Implementations

Groups could define their members on their own homepage. Social web sites could pick up the group list from the groups site instead. You'd instantly have your group on every (dreaming) social web service.

vCard 4.0 Draft

The latest vCard 4.0 draft includes a new property "member". This could be leveraged in hCard like so:

<div class="vcard">
  <h1 class="fn org">The Microformats Community</h1>
  <p>Members:</p>
  <ul class="xoxo">
    <li class="member vcard"><a class="fn url" href="http://tantek.com">Tantek Çelik</a></li>
    <!-- ... etc ... -->
  </ul>
</div>

A paginated list would need to include the hCard for the organisation/group on each page, but could use an identical UID on each page to indicate that they all represent the same organisation.

see also

Group Brainstorming was last modified: Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

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