Update: I’ve done a followup to this post titled: the future of microformats.
I wrote a while ago about openID and how companies want to say they support it without supporting it. It seems that the same thing is happening with lots of other formats. One in particular is hCard.
There’s tons of sites out there that “support” hCard. By support, I mean that they publish an hCard for you of your data. In theory, this will allow you to take your data with you anywhere you want. If I want to leave MyBlogLog, or Twitter, or Flickr, I can simply take my hCard to another site and create an account there with all of that information. In a more quixotic use, you could even just update one account and the others would pull in that hCard at set intervals. It all works well in theory. In theory though, communism is a great system. In the real world, it doesn’t work. Neither does hCard – yet.
The problem with hCard is the same problem with openID – everybody wants to be a provider, but nobody accepts it. As of this blog post I’ve found a total of 2 websites that allow me to create an account with my hCard. Bragster and getSatisfaction – and even those are somewhat buggy and don’t pull in all the fields that they possibly could. Where are the Google, AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo offerings that will let me import an hCard. What about MySpace and Facebook?
hCards are very easy to deal with, so who’s going to step up to the plate here and start accepting hCards?