What is XFN (XHTML Friends Network)?

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, e.g.:

<a href=”http://jeff.example.org” rel=”friend met”>…

Learn more at http://www.gmpg.org/xfn/


There are a few XFN – XHTML Friends Network plugins already created for WordPress. You can find XFN plugins by searching Google for “WordPress plugin xfn” or you can see a list of the stored plugins at WordPress here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search.php?q=xfn

Here’s a couple of my favorite FXN plug-ins for WordPress.

Blogroll Links


Author: Rajiv Pant

For people who maintain their Web site or blog using the WordPress blog content management system, blogroll-links is an open source WordPress plugin that uses WordPress built-in Blogroll feature and presents links to friends’ home pages and own pages on social networking sites using XFN in the links.

Features of this plugin

  • It can show the links by category in blog posts and WordPress Pages.
  • It uses WordPress standard built-in Blogroll links database. There is no hassle of another list of links to maintain.
  • It can be used to show only the links assigned to a particular category, by stating the category slug as defined in that category’s setting in WordPress.
  • It honors the Show/Hidden setting as defined for each link in WordPress.
  • It displays the link in the same window or new window, as specified for each link in WordPress.

XFN Icons


Author: Samuel Elliott

Adds Icons after links according to whether you’ve specified XFN or not. XFN (XHTML Friends Network) is a way of adding properties to links to specify relationships between the two sites, or the two subjects of the sites. WordPress supports them by default, and you can add them by looking further down the page on the “Add Links” Page in the Admin Area.


The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project


foaf project Friend of a Friend
foaf project Friend of a Friend

FOAF is about your place in the Web, and the Web’s place in our world. FOAF is a simple technology that makes it easier to share and use information about people and their activities (eg. photos, calendars, weblogs), to transfer information between Web sites, and to automatically extend, merge and re-use it online.

The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project is creating a Web of machine-readable pages describing people, the links between them and the things they create and do.

Google’s Social Graph API


The public web is made up of linked pages that represent both documents and people. Google Search helps make this information more accessible and useful. If you take away the documents, you’re left with the connections between people. Information about the public connections between people is really useful — as a user, you might want to see who else you’re connected to, and as a developer of social applications, you can provide better features for your users if you know who their public friends are. There hasn’t been a good way to access this information. The Social Graph API now makes information about the public connections between people on the Web, expressed by XFN and FOAF markup and other publicly declared connections, easily available and useful for developers.

Google Social Graph
Google Social Graph


Microformats are designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).

microformat diagram http://microformats.org
microformat diagram http://microformats.org

Learn more at http://microformats.org/about/


There are several microformat plugins already created for WordPress. You can find microformat plugins by searching Google for “WordPress plugin microformat” or you can see a list of the stored plugins at WordPress here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search.php?q=microformat

Here are a few of my favorite microformat plug-ins for WordPress.

Events Category


This plugin is developed at Shepherd Interactive for the benefit of the community.

Seamless event calendar solution which extends the basic WordPress functionality to enable future-dated posts to be listed within the blog chronology when they are assigned to a particular post category. The a future-dated post’s timestamp is used as the time stamp. Upcoming events widget included; includes iCal feed. HTML output contains hCalendar, hCard, geo, and adr microformats.



Author: Sam Wilson

A simple address book plugin.

You can view and edit addresses (names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.) in the administration interface (under Manage > Addressbook or as its own top-level menu item), or embed a read-only list of addresses in posts and/or pages.

Addressbook features:

  • Gravatar support for both address lists;
  • hCard microformat support in the address list.

Micro Anywhere


Author: Alex Willemsma

Micro Anywhere is designed to allow anyone to make use of microformats on their blog, even if they don’t know what microformats are.

When the plugin is activated it adds two buttons to the WordPress WYSIWYG editor — one to insert event (calendar) data, and one to insert contact information (vCard) data. Each button opens an easy to use dialog box that prompts the user for information about their event or contact, and then outputs a human readable paragraph, fully marked up with a relevant microformat. When possible, relevant HTML tags are used to make interacting with the event easier. For example, if a URL is given, the event or contact’s name becomes a link to that URL.



Author: Andrew Turner & Mikel Maron

GeoPress adds geographic tagging of your posts and pages. You can enter an address, points on a map, or enter latitude & longitude using the post interface. You can also include the post location within the body itself to make it easy to geotag using emailed posts and desktop clients. Maps can be Google, Microsoft, OpenStreetMap, 3D globe, or any major mapping provider by using the Mapstraction mapping library. Makes your feeds GeoRSS compatible, and also adds KML for viewing in Google Earth.

Get more information at: http://georss.org/geopress



Author: Meitar “maymay” Moscovitz

Adds the Oomph Microformats toolkit‘s microformat overlay to any WordPress-generated pages (as long as the page has a microformat in it, of course).

This plugin is pretty idiotic (by which I mean brain-dead simple), but it does enable anyone to full microformat-enable their blog with purely point-and-click operations. It’s recommended that you start with a WordPress theme that already has built-in support for microformats, and then add this plugin to the mix.

I was going to write some more details about how to use mircoformats, but I found this very nice post about microformats already done, check it out http://mysaves.com/community/bookmark/visit/Getting-Semantic-With-Microformats-Introduction-~-A-Blog-384.html

Google API video overview

The Google Data APIs provide a simple standard protocol for reading and writing data on the web.

These REST-style APIs are based on the Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub), using the standard Atom syndication format to represent data and HTTP to handle communication. The Google Data API protocol also extends AtomPub for processing queries, authentication, batch requests, and providing alternate output formats (JSON, RSS).

Learn more about the Google API at http://code.google.com/apis/gdata/index.html

Free SEO benefits from future proof URLs

Future Proof URLs gives you free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits and hide the technology for future modifications of server technology. Most users don’t care about the technology and true social media shares it’s information across multiple platforms.

It’s not easy to understand what this page is about from just a URL that looks like this:


Transform ugly URLs into Search Engine, People friendly URLs with these simple steps in the WordPress Admin Interface.

1. Go to Settings/Permalinks

permalinks view on WordPress Admin
permalinks view on WordPress Admin

2. Select “Day and name”, then click “save changes”

That will change the URL

from this: http://trickmandan.com/blog/?p=11

to this: http://trickmandan.com/blog/2008/11/23/redirect-root-requests-to-your-blog/

This strategy will give Search Engines some clues on how to index this page. User friendly URLs will also give users an extra clue on what the page is about.

NOTE: You may need to update your htaccess file in your WordPress directory.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /blog/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /blog/index.php [L]

This will redirect all requests that are not for actual files or directories to /blog/index.php

The [L] flag says this is the last rule.

Learn more about htaccess here.