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Understanding XFN

So I've been poking at XFN a bit for the past few days and from a high-level really get it. The idea is people had blogrolls and XFN provides a way to give context to them. I could then easily say that brad is a friend, I've met him in real life, and he is a colleague.

With MicroID, I also get it. Hash an email address and URL and stick it in the head section of pages to show equivalence. Much like XFN's "rel='me'". One difference with MicroID though is that you choose an email address and URL to use, versus XFN you see equivalence not by picking one but by linking them all together. MicroID also talks about how if you don't come across the MicroID in the head section of the page, that there must be trust in the 3rd party website as to if you believe whatever they are linking to is the person.

So this is where XFN breaks down for me. If the links can be anywhere on the page, then what is stopping me from posting a comment in brad's journal with the following:

Have you seen <a href='http://www.doxory.com'>Doxory</a> from <span class='ljuser' lj:user='obra' style='white-space: nowrap;'><a href='http://obra.livejournal.com/profile' rel='me'><img src='http://stat.livejournal.com/img/userinfo.gif' alt='[info]' width='17' height='17' style='vertical-align: bottom; border: 0;' /></a><a href='http://obra.livejournal.com/'><b>obra</b></a></span> yet?

Thus to an XFN parser, on that entry page, it would now look like http://brad.livejournal.com/12124124.html is saying http://obra.livejournal.com/ is the same person.

Am I missing something here?

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ext_4178
Jan. 8th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
From what I've seen, rel="me" can only be trusted when both pages link to each other. Otherwise you ignore it. Does that solve you problem?
daveman692
Jan. 8th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I probably shouldn't have picked rel="me" since it does have to be symmetric to be worthwhile. Though what about the same example with using rel="spouse" or something? Do you have to discount a link if it isn't reciprocal? If so, then what about just rel="contact", it doesn't need to be symetric but I still need to know brad is the one that posted it versus someone who commented on an entry.
bulknews
Jan. 8th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
http://microformats.org/wiki/xfn-clarifications#me_nofollow_interaction says using "nofollow" busts other XFN relationship, especially "me." So applying 'nofollow' rel to the links posted within comments should just work.
daveman692
Jan. 8th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
Ah, using nofollow actually makes a lot of sense. I'd put money on none of the Six Apart products (or really any blogging software for that matter) looking for XFN links in comments and adding nofollow though. :-\
crucially
Jan. 8th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
Uhm, I thought we put nofollow on all links?
daveman692
Jan. 8th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Certainly not for every link, only in some cases.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )