Personal data

The "about me" page

Surely the information provided on the "about me" page should be mainly usable by human readers. For accessibility reasons it is strongly recommended (in some countries also legally required) to embed these informations accesible under all conditions. That implies to provide these information in a textual version. The often used method to include the e-mail address simply as an image is not accessible!

But beyond that it may be interesting and useful to also enable machines to make use of these informations For that you need standards. Out in the wild there are three standards used for that: FOAF and hCard and Dublin Core. The first two are about personal data, Dublin Core is about something more. FOAF uses RDF (an xml dialect) and therefore is not directly usable in html. But it is possible and recommended to include a link to an external rdf FOAF file:

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

The link provided here is the url for my own FOAF File. This link can then be used for autodiscovery as could be the link with rel="author". The FOAF file is completely machine readable.

For XHTML there is no such limitation Using namespaces it is indeed possible to directly include FOAF into xhtml. The hCard specification from the Microformats project on the other hand are meant for direct embedding into html. Of course embedding them into xhtml is possible, too.

The hCard specifications are based on the VCARD specification, a format widely used by e-mail programs for importing and exporting address data. Exactly these type of information is what is to be included in the "about me" page. Examples of how to embed address information in a way which is human readable as well as machine readable can be viewed on the hCard wiki. Some own examples folow.