FOAF

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= "Friend of a friend" formatting project


Definition

"If people publish information in the FOAF document format, machines will be able to make use of that information. If those files contain "see also" references to other such documents in the Web, we will have a machine-friendly version of today's hypertext Web" (http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/)


Description

Stephen Downes:

"The idea of FOAF is that it is like RSS for personal identities. To enter the network, a person creates a FOAF file. Like RSS, an FOAF file is an XML file that can be aggregated by harvesters. The FOAF file can be used to express the same content as a person's Friendster or Orkut profile would contain. But the creation of a FOAF file does not depend on membership on a specific site. Any person can create a FOAF file using a FOAF generator and place it on their home page. By submitting the URL of the FOAF file to an aggregator or by linking a FOAF file on their home page.

The FOAF format, in addition to defining personal profiles, can define communities as sets of references to individual FOAF files." (http://www.downes.ca/post/46)

Status

"One of the major barriers to the use of a FOAF file is in the creation of a list of friends. This is the service social networking provides: it is possible to add a friend (usually on request) by clicking a few buttons. But in the wider FOAF world, it has until recently required that information about friends be filled out manually into a web based form." (http://www.downes.ca/post/46)


More Information

More info at http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/