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The Open Graph protocol

Understanding the design decisions

WWW Conference April th, David Recordon

The product experience

Design goals

Useful to others beyond Facebook.

Copy and paste.

Simple markup. Simple schema.

What’s needed?

What is the user liking? A clean page title An image A canonical URL

) What is the user liking
Based off of the most popular categories for Facebook Pages.
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Activities Businesses Groups Organizations People Places Products and Entertainment Websites

) A clean page title
Search Engine Optimization has caused all sorts of stuff to be crammed into the <title> tag.

“The Semantic Web & THE POWER OF PULL | Blog Archive | The Facebook Open Graph, Part I” “A New Data Model – Facebook Developer Blog” “W C Track @ WWW , Raleigh, NC, USA ; April ” “Open Graph Protocol | Google Groups”

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) A canonical URL
We wanted to use link-rel canonical.

Major publishers were concerned that adding link-rel canonical would negatively impact their ranking within search engines.

A simple example

What’s desired?

A short description A site name (for collections of pages) Location information Contact information

) A short description
A simple schema.
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Not respecting Don’t Repeat Yourself. Optimized for a consistent schema versus reuse of existing meta tags.
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One namespace. One prefix. One HTML tag attribute (“property”)

What we didn’t want
But tried.

Too complex!

) Location information
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Couldn’t find a – simple – location markup specification. Reused the property names from the Microformat hCard Fully expect this information to be expressed within the page body versus the head.

RDFa gives us a consistent syntax for both cases.


Seven days later!

Hosted services
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og:it - simple metadata extractor to HTML - simple metadata extractor to HTML and JSON Multiple RDF parsers now understand the Open Graph protocol Open Graph protocol to JSON convertor for testing

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Open Source libraries for Java, Perl, PHP, and Ruby WordPress plugin for easy publishing

Thanks! Questions?