Share & Spread the Love of Web: humans.txt

I started using a new tool to make the Web sites I am supporting more user and visitor friendly: humans.txt. This text file lives in the root directory of your Web site and associates a Web presence with the humans behind it.

Why is this necessary, you ask? Because for the longest time, we tried to make Web sites more accessible for the robots out there. But the Internet is ultimately a means to connect people. Behind the greatest and the ugliest Web sites are humans.

A humans.txt file gives you the opportunity to display all kinds of «behind the scenes» information about your Web site in a human readable format: You can declare authors and contributors of your Web project as well as designers, developers, software tools used to build the project and colophon type information. In addition, you may display useful context details such as the last update timestamp, contact details, your location and language information.

The humans.txt for the TeXt ex machina site could look like this:

/* TEAM */

    Author: Anna-Maria "Amy" Müller
    Site: http://www.text-ex-machina.co.uk/
    Contact: http://www.text-ex-machina.co.uk/contact/
    Twitter: @amy_mueller
    Location: Swindon, United Kingdom

    Web designer & developer: Maria Schmidt
    Site: http://tomatedesign.de/
    Contact: http://tomatedesign.de/impressum.html
    Twitter: @maerys
    Location: Hannover, Germany

/* SITE */

    Last update: 02/07/2011 
    Language: English / German
    Standards: HTML5, CSS3
    Components: Drupal, Modernizr,
    Software: Photoshop, Espresso, Transmit, Textwrangler, Markdown 

As this example shows, it is really easy to put a humans.txt together in a few minutes to give attribution to the people who make a Web project possible. If you prefer integration with your CMS, there is a humans.txt module for Drupal and a plugin for WordPress. The Humans TXT project has examples and information in a friendly format about the whys and how tos of the humans.txt file.

I found the footer or copyright remark of a Web site to be a great location to link to your humans.txt (in addition to the meta / author tag in the < head > of the site).

From now on, dearest reader, share and spread the love for the Web with humans!

Details & meta

Sat, 02/07/2011 - 20:10