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What is XHTML Friends Network or XFN?

When adding links on your Blogroll in WordPress, you will probably see options for your relationship to the website you are linking to.

XFN on WordPress Blogroll Options

Now if you think this is just some random thing, this inserts values to the rel attribute of an anchor tag of the link you are linking to. Choosing any of these can trigger it one or any combination of these rel attribute values.

  • friendship (pick at most one)
    • contact
      Someone you know how to get in touch with. Often symmetric.
    • acquaintance
      Someone who you have exchanged greetings and not much (if any) more — maybe a short conversation or two. Often symmetric.
    • friend
      Someone you are a friend to. A compatriot, buddy, home(boy|girl) that you know. Often symmetric.
  • physical
    • met
      Someone who you have actually met in person. Symmetric.
  • professional
    • co-worker
      Someone a person works with, or works at the same organization as. Symmetric. Usually transitive.
    • colleague
      Someone in the same field of study/activity. Symmetric. Often transitive.
  • geographical (pick at most one)
    • co-resident
      Someone you share a street address with. Symmetric and transitive.
    • neighbor
      Someone who lives nearby, perhaps only at an adjacent street address or doorway. Symmetric. Often transitive.
  • family (pick at most one)
    • child
      A person’s genetic offspring, or someone that a person has adopted and takes care of. Inverse is parent.
    • parent
      Inverse of child.
    • sibling
      Someone a person shares a parent with. Symmetric. Usually transitive.
    • spouse
      Someone you are married to. Symmetric. Not transitive.
    • kin
      A relative, someone you consider part of your extended family. Symmetric and typically transitive.
  • romantic
    • muse
      Someone who brings you inspiration. No inverse.
    • crush
      Someone you have a crush on. No inverse.
    • date
      Someone you are dating. Symmetric. Not transitive.
    • sweetheart
      Someone with whom you are intimate and at least somewhat committed, typically exclusively. Symmetric. Not transitive.
  • identity
    • me
      A link to yourself at a different URL. Exclusive of all other XFN values. Required symmetric. There is an implicit “me” relation from a subdirectory to all of its contents.

List from: http://gmpg.org/xfn/11

Do you think this has any use? Do we have to inspect the source code tags just to know the relationship of one site to another? Maybe these tags are ahead of their time that’s why?

Google Social Graph API

So far the only application I have seen that uses this is Google’s Social Graph API. Actually I haven’t even seen a working application of this API but just the knowledge of the API exist. View the video below and learn more on this API. Now in SEO contest like SEOContest2008 and Yicrosoft Directory, if you link to your competitors, what XFN is that? Opponent? Enemy? *LOL*

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One comment on “What is XHTML Friends Network or XFN?

  • I like to think of this more like RDFa where it may help in indirect ranking since google figure things out better but not a ranking signal.

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