Archive for the ‘Microformats’ Category

Identity, Who am I?

April 27, 2008

Well that is a very important question. I am the son of Robert and Joy White. I am the brother of John and Stephen White. I am the husband of Doris White. I am the parent of Robert and Jennifer White. I am a employee of Walmart, in Parker Colorado. I have a United States Passport, I have a Colorado drivers licenses. I was born in Austin Texas. Each of those is a piece of informations which describes who I am. But is that the real me? They do not talk about the experiences I have had, or the education I have had, or what I believe about me or what I believe about the reason for human existence. How do you find out who I am?

On the Internet it is even harder to come to a exact description of who a person is or their identity. The Internet was designed without the idea of identity built into its structure. My computer has an IP, but that is not who i am. I have a email address but that is not who I am. Those at best are just identifying information about me or my computer or where i receive email. Both of those pieces of information can be changed and they will not change who I am. The best way to describe me is by saying who I have been known by or as, or by what I have done and or when and or where that happened. Collectively I can be identified by who i am known by and what i have done and when and where that happened. Those kinds of information can be checked and verified by asking other people, or checking records at other institutions and locations. My identity could be described as what I have done and when and where I did it. The same things can be said about my identity of the web. This information could be called my online reputation or my online identity.

So how do you find out who I am on the web? Well I have done a lot of the work for you. I have found a site called This is a collection of the sites that I participate on on the web. There are other sites that could be called search engines or aggregaters. Some of them seach the web and look for identifying information and make list where that identifying information is located. Google is probally the best know of these places. Go to and Google your name. Find out what Google knows about you. and are two of the best identity aggregaters.

If you want to know who I am you could ask the people who know me. How would you find them? well i have done some of the work for you. I have a PGP key. Some of the people I know on the web have signed my pgp key saying that they know me. I have a foaf file I have filled out saying that I know a rather large group of various people around the world that I have listed in that file. On various social networks I have lists of people who are variously called my friends or contacts or otherwise have been identified as knowing me. is an excellent way to find out who I went to school with or worked with.

Ok, then who am I? That my friend is something i have spent my whole life trying to figure out. Only a very few select people really know the real whole of me. I think I really like it that way, to tell you the truth. I have written at least one book of my thoughts and beliefs trying to describe in words what i think I know about life and other things…

I have many blogs, more than I can keep up with really is my political blog. I have been writing there for a few years now about politics in the USA.

I guess the best answer is if you find out please let me know. I have been wondering about that my whole lifetime.

sincerely yours


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Microformats, another great idea.

April 27, 2008

I have been learning about Microformats recently. Microformats are a way to imbed information on web pages so that machines can read them and index the information and truly use the information they are picking up. The problem with web pages as they have been for years is that people could read them with no problems but machines could not really understand what was on the page. With microformats computers can not only read a web page with microformats on it, but can understand what information is encoded into them. This is important so that a computer can read a page and answer questions about what the information is and what it means.  Before you could have a web page with your travel plans on it and your friends could read it but a computer could not understand what the information meant or use it to answer questions about your travel plans. Now microformats are a way to say i am traveling on such and such airlines and on day on such and such a flight going from here to there at such and such a time, and have a computer read it and understand the informations provided and make it able to answer questions about who is traveling and when and where they are going and when they are going to getting there.

Those smart IT guys are developing ways to query this information using sparql and find out all kinds of things that they could not have gotten from old fashion web pages without a human reading the information and answering the questions.

There many other things that can be encoded in using Microformats. Calender information, your personal contact information, and your resume even, are all able to formated into the new microformats. These are just a few of the things more and more types of information is going to be able to microformated in the near future.

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