January 31, 2015

Who Supports hCard? Anyone? Bueller?

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?

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com


  1. I just finally figured out hCard and now support it for my business directory entries ( http://free.naplesplus.us/sections/view.php/51 – the last hundred or so have it ) — but it was a PAIN! I get my articles ready by using Microsoft Excel, and came up with a weird but workable formula that encloses the name/address/city/state/zip in an hCard friendly format. The Operator Firefox toolbar shows it working perfectly :-)

    But places that let you use it like an ID card? Yeah, I haven’t found much support for that either. BUT I’m hopeful that BEING in that format (rather like how XFN or FOAF creation) will allow it to be better indexed and more of a standard, which is good in other ways.

    Kenneth Udut, Naples, Florida