FOAFster is a prototype visualizer for Friend Of A Friend relationship objects. What you're seeing here are icons for a bunch of FOAF contacts, scattered around the screen, and network services, in a much neater line at the top.
I've been interested in FOAF for a long time. Abstracting out all my social relationships into a separate layer, just as I do with my presentation and behavior layers, really resonates. Future possibilities like being able to point marketers at my FOAF object so they will quit wasting their time trying to sell me timeshares seems like a very real possibility.
The problem? As it sits right now, FOAF is a giant pain to update. Most folks fire it once and forget it; the results range from amusing to disastrous.
What changed today? MyBlogLog rolled out FOAF. And now, finally, I don't have to worry about keeping a file on my Web site. All I need to do is add people and services to my network on MyBlogLog, and it's taken care of for me. Here's my FOAF object, courtesy of MyBlogLog:
All this is generated and re-generated for me, whenever I add a service or a contact, and whenever any of those contacts add a service of their own. So now all I need to do is link it in the HEAD of my document, like so:
<link rel="meta" type="application/rdf+xml" title="FOAF" href="http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/members/kentbrew/foaf/" />
Although other services like LiveJournal and FriendFeed are doing this, MyBlogLog's FOAF is superior. LiveJournal only points inwards; FriendFeed does not contain your contacts' network connections. And nobody else in the world is presenting FOAF as a JSON object wrapped in the callback of your choice, if you ask nicely, using
format=json&callback=foo. Although it's possible to run anybody's FOAF object through Pipes and get JSON back, MyBlogLog cuts out the middleman by being brave enough to serve it all up live.
It's trivially easy, which is how it ought to be. Go sign up at MyBlogLog, add some services and/or contacts, and your FOAF should be ready to rock, at
I'll have the code up once I fix up the IE bugs; for now, adventurous developers should know how to read source, copy, and paste. Have fun, and please let me know how it goes.