XFN Friendly

XFN Friendly Sticker

On Monday and Tuesday, I attended many great panels at SXSW, but two stand out in particular. Both moderated by Tantek Celik (Technorati), Monday’s panel was “How to Trick-Out Your Blog” featuring Jay Allen (Six Apart), Matt Mullenweg (WordPress) and Dunstan Orchard (Apple). Tuesday’s panel was “How to Leverage Decentralized Social Networks” (check out Eddie’s notes on this one) and featured Jonas Luster (CollabNet), Joyce Park (CommerceNet), danah boyd and Ernie Hsiung (Yahoo).

One topic that surfaced in both of these panels was XFN, which is a system for defining and connecting social networks between personal websites. Here’s an explanation from the XFN website:

XFN (XHTML Friends Network) is a simple way to represent human relationships using hyperlinks. In recent years, blogs and blogrolls have become the fastest growing area of the Web. XFN enables web authors to indicate their relationship(s) to the people in their blogrolls simply by adding a 'rel' attribute to their <a href> tags.

This system, developed by Tantek Celik, Matt Mullenweg and Eric Meyer, is pre-built into WordPress’ link manager and is used by many other applications and websites. rubhub is a search engine that shows the personal relationships between websites that use XFN, i.e. websites that are “XFN Friendly”. For example, here are the rubhub search results for Laughing Squid. Give it a try with your blog.

Scott Beale
Scott Beale

Scott Beale founded Laughing Squid in 1995 in San Francisco and is currently based in New York City. When not running the blog, Scott can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.