Google Profiles just launched a new feature that's too dorky and
obscure to warrant an official "Google blog" blog post, so the product
manager on it said, "Brad, you're dorky... you should post it. You do
Social Graph API stuff. The right people would read your blog,
So sure, I'll blawg it here.
Google Profiles now
attributes on links. Again. (It had them briefly for awhile but it
was done grossly so they were removed...)
Why is this important?
rel="me" links are the
glue of your social identity online. They tie together all your sites
& accounts, letting
other sites know where to find you. (Of course, if you don't want
to be found, or have different personas: don't make links between
them!). But if you're reading this post you already know all this, so
I'll shut up.
How does it work in Google Profiles now? While I don't work
directly on Profiles, I sit near them and like to voice opinions on
things. So here's the new design, which you can blame me for parts of
if you hate it:
- assume users don't care about
rel="me" and it's super
- do the best possible right thing by default, but let dorks
- assume users will use products in ways you didn't imagine (aka
- assume users will add Profiles links to their favorite websites,
bands, friends, etc., not just "their" pages on the web.
- hide the
rel="me" choice by default when adding a link
- show the
rel="me" choice if they go back and press "edit" on it
- track two new bits per-link:
- does the user care about
rel="me"? (i.e. are they dorky?)
- if so, does the user want this link to be
- when rendering the Profiles page HTML, consider those two bits:
- if the dork bit is on, use the value of the second bit (whether
rel="me" on this link)
- if the bit is off, just guess. But guess somewhat
conservatively. We can adjust these heuristics over time (a lot of which are based on sgnodemapper), as
most the links will be in do-not-care mode.
So, my dorky friends, you can now fix the
state on your links by going
editor and pressing "Edit" on the links and checking their state.
Be sure to hit "Save" at the bottom.
(And keep in mind that the real utility of all this comes later.
Consider yourself a dorky earlier adopter.)