Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Technorati reads the FOAF file from your blog and creates a profile. Your picture from your FOAF file and a link to your profile shows up when you appear in people's cosmos listings. A good reason to get a FOAF file. TypePad has FOAF built in. If you want to build a FOAF file, you can go to this foaf-a-matic site (thanks for the link Sifry) and make a FOAF file. Put the FOAF file on a server and point to in from your blog with a link tag like this:

<link rel="meta" type="application/rdf+xml" title="FOAF" href="" />

FOAF stands for "Friend of a Friend" and it is a project to create a machine readable format for putting information about yourself and your friends on web pages.

Here's Marc Canter's profile

Update: As Dave Sifry says in the comments section, you must get an account on Technorati and "claim your blog" before it will make a profile from your FOAF. You can do that here.


Two important points that Joi missed:

1. In order for Technorati to associate your FOAF file with your profile, you need to go through the claim your weblog process to verify that you are the author of your weblog, and that you are the person being referred to in the FOAF file.

2. This is a very young implementation - not all FOAF properties are implemented yet in the profile, and so on. I'm sure it has bugs and other nasty nigglies as of this writing. I just put it together last night while rebuilding a server.

We're working in FOAF to provide a standard way of achieving this. Note that a FOAF file can contain descriptions of many people. Technorati get round this by getting you to associate yourself through their login interface, as they have your email address then, which is a clever solution.

However, how would you do this in a decentralized way? Watch this space, we're shortly going to be coming up with an extra snippet you can put in the HTML head section to indicate this.

So David, if I've already claimed my blog, before integrating the foaf file, will I have to do anything else? Or will it automatically update?

Edd, is there a listserv we can sign up to, to keep abreast of the developments?

This is a hot area - getting even hotter by the tran-international cooperation being exerted. Efforts in New Zealand, Kansas City and San Francisco are uniting with folks in Italy, Copenhagen and Bristol.

I propose that the FOAF gods keep this train moving forward by clearly delineating WHAT part of FOAF has been 'frozen' - so we can incorporate THOSE aspects into our FOAF aware apps and services, while still admitting that it's a moving target.

Some sort of petrie dish environment is needed for FOAF to continue to grow the social networking culture.

Pete, maybe the best place to watch FOAF developments is on the rdfweb weblog. There's a mailing list linked from there too, but if you just want the latest news rather than all the debate, keep an eye on the weblog. The weblog's RSS is at


If you've already claimed your blog, all you have to do is add the tag to the homepage of your blog and Technorati will automatically find it and associate it with your profile.


Hey Dave,

done that - hasn't picked it up yet tho... I'll check my code is ok...


Also, Opml blogroll to foaf is here


Works for me now. Go here to see your profile.

(yes, the format of profiles are: )

I only just came across this, on Marc's blog.
Great work!

You can also use the Topic Exchange to create a FOAF file: Create an account and log in, then click the 'Friends' link.

Currently it won't let you put things like your picture / phone number in your FOAF (drop me a line if there are specific fields you'd like it to support), but it has an easy friend management interface: you can give it the URL of someone else's FOAF file and walk through their social network, adding people to your own FOAF file with a single click - a pretty powerful feature.

It publishes FOAF files like this:

FOAF or Blogrolling?

FOAF is a demo stuff of Semantic Web before blog phenomena. IMHO, a new blog rolling format could be easier to represent one's social networking. It's more natural procedure to make a blogrolling list than maintaining a FOAF. Maybe an extented OPML?

Anyway, we always don't like many redundant data around us, right?

I said I'd come back when some progress had been made in indicating the blog-authorship/FOAF link in a decentralized way. I wrote up how to achieve this in my blog today, together with brief details of how I implemented software support for it in Dashboard. I also made a brief I Made This! HOWTO, in the manner of my other FOAF tutorial snippets.

FOAF allows the expression of personal information and relationships, and is a useful building block for creating information systems that support online communities. Code samples demonstrate the basics.

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Finally a reason for FOAF from Curiouser and curiouser!
July 21, 2003 8:31 PM

Technorati talks FOAF.

Technorati reads the FOAF file from your blog ...

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Technorati talks FOAF, and this is a Good Thing™. The application of FOAF in web applications to supply meta information is an excellent step forward. I hope that Technorati will use FOAF data to provide a ‘this author reads’ or... Read More

There seems to be a great deal of activity about FOAF lately, as pointed out by Danny Ayers: The FOAF ("friend-of-a-friend") page on the project Wiki is growing into a great link collection, so presumably there's a fair bit of cross-project interest. T... Read More

FOAF Day Two from AKMA’s Random Thoughts
July 24, 2003 7:11 AM

There’ an explosion of energy on the FOAF front, due no doubt to the interventions of such power hitters as Joi, Marc, and Shelley. Joi may be the one who started the present rush; as the surge of friends-of-friends rushes past and we begin settl... Read More

Joi Ito’s Web: Technorati talks FOAF. Hat tip to Ludwig for creating a Friend of a Friend link. He says... Read More