December 2015 - Broken Links Archive

A Little Less Metacrap

Jere­my Kei­th wrote a (typ­i­cal­ly great) post about metacrap, the unnecce­sar­i­ly ver­bose and repet­i­tive meta­da­ta in the head of web doc­u­ments, that’s required for con­tent to be more eas­i­ly share­able across social media. I ful­ly agree with his broad point — there’s an awful lot of crap in head — but there’s a flaw in his ini­tial exam­ples. It’s explained in this extract from Twitter’s Get­ting Start­ed [with Cards] Guide:

You’ll notice that Twit­ter card tags look sim­i­lar to Open Graph tags, and that’s because they are based on the same con­ven­tions as the Open Graph pro­to­col. If you’re already using Open Graph pro­to­col to describe data on your page, it’s easy to gen­er­ate a Twit­ter card with­out dupli­cat­ing your tags and data.

So actu­al­ly the meta­da­ta you need to cater for most social shar­ing is Open Graph, with a few extra tags just for Twitter:

<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary">
<meta name="twitter:site" content="@adactio">
<meta property="og:url" content="https://adactio.com/journal/9881">
<meta property="og:title" content="Metadata markup">
<meta property="og:description" content="So many standards to choose from.">
<meta property="og:image" content="https://adactio.com/icon.png">

I mean, it’s still per­haps too much, and (as point­ed out) would prob­a­bly be best writ­ten as JSON-LD in the man­i­fest. But there’s no redun­dan­cy, so is not quite as bad as paint­ed in Jeremy’s arti­cle, even with his ele­gant squish­ing solution.


Aside

I’ve updat­ed my Speak­ing page to include more con­fer­ences, more videos, and a lit­tle on my speak­ing require­ments and pref­er­ences. I’m plan­ning to cut down on the num­ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter­est­ing offers and oppor­tu­ni­ties, so please get in touch if you’re organ­is­ing an event.

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