So lately, I’ve been looking into the semantic tools available on the web. I want to make sure that my online identity is easily searchable and undeniably accurate. Using semantic tools such as XFN, FOAF and hCard may help me.
I can’t help but seeing some of these and thinking ‘flash in the pan’ though. What I really want to see is a big - or a giant - company come through and make use of these. For example, LiveJournal is exporting FOAF information - but who cares? Where can I actually find value out of that information that was previously consumed? If I search ‘Aaron Saray’ on Google, will my friends show up along the sidebar?
At any rate, I did implement a very basic FOAF RDF file on my home page. I am reluctant to do anything further, however. Like I said, I’m not seeing much value as of yet. However, I did want to look at another alternative, hCard.
What is hCard
hCard is just an expansion on the vCard standard. The website says it has a 1:1 representation of the vCard properties. Plus, it goes further by allowing itself to be embedded into web properties. So basically, its a vCard that I show on my website, right? Isn’t this already what my contact page does? (Yes - but the argument is this is a standardized form so that it can be machine readable - I get it I get it).
Who is using hCard
More and more libraries are using hCard. The number one thing that caught my eye was the possible implementation by drupal (see http://groups.drupal.org/node/1898. Yet, I’m seeing many people put out the information to be consumed, but I’m not seeing many groups actually doing the consuming.
How can I use it?
Well besides looking at the specs, you can use the following two libraries in PHP:
So what did you do?
Ok so after all this complaining, I have to admit - I’m still guilty… I implemented it on my contact page :)