I’ve been looking at using XFN, and the first thing I wanted to do was share (most of) my feed subscriptions. I don’t think XFN can do this very well, so I’m going to ramble meaninglessly about it for a little bit.
XFN describes relationships between people in generic, simple terms. This is good, since getting too specific would just lead to a ridiculously large list that nobody would actually use. A manageable set of carefully thought-out terms is the right way to go. However, there are a couple of things I’d like to be able to do that XFN doesn’t cover, and I’m wondering if it should.
Feed subscriptions. What’s the right word to describe those links? I haven’t met or even conversed with most of the people whose feeds I read every day, so none of the XFN values seem to fit. I like “fan” to describe this relationship, and it covers others too; I could use it to link to a band or author or book or TV show just as well as a person. But then, I’m not really a “fan” of many of the aggregation or news sites I follow. Is “follower” better? “reader”? Would we need both terms?
Indicating that a URL is a source for whatever I’m talking about is useful. Obviously, “source” makes sense for this one. This is just like those “via” links on news posts that indicate sources.
So are these sorts of relationships in scope for XFN? If XFN is about relationships between people, should it be capable of indicating relationships to things? Should XFN cover these things for convenience, or should there be another system for them? There are some ideas on the XFN wiki, but I don’t know what’s actually going on. Like I said, meaningless rambling.