Open Social Networking Standards

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From Marc Canter at,

All of these open social networking standards mean that inter-connected social networks will form a mesh that will parallel the blogosphere. This vibrant, distributed, decentralized world will be driven by open standards: personalized online experiences are what the new open web will be all about—and what could be more personalized than people's networks?

"Instead of closed, centralized social networks with 10 million people in them, the goal is making it possible to have 10 million social networks that each have 10 people in them.

FOAF (which stands for Friend Of A Friend, and describes people and relationships in a way that computers can parse) is a schema to represent not only your personal profile's meta-data, but your social network as well. Thousands of researchers use the FOAF schema in their "Semantic Web" projects to connect people in all sorts of new ways. XFN is a microformat standard for representing your social network, while vCard (long familiar to users of contact manager programs like Outlook) is a microformat that contains your profile information. Microformats are baked into any xHTML webpage, which means that any blog, social network page, or any webpage in general can "contain" your social network in it — and be used byany compatible tool, service or application.

PeopleAggregator is an earlier project now being integrated into open content management framework Drupal. The PeopleAggregator APIs will make it possible to establish relationships, send messages, create or join groups, and post between different social networks. (Sneak preview: this technology will be available in the upcoming GoingOn Network.)

Movers and Shakers: Eric Sigler, Joel De Gan, Chris Schmidt, Julian Bond, Paul Martino, Mary Hodder, Drummond Reed, Dan Brickley, Randy Farmer, and Kaliya Hamlin, to name a few." (