Humans.txt – A great idea dies quietly?

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I'm not sure how I recently found my way to the Humans.txt website.

But what I found there was a well thought out initiative to give credit to the human beings responsible for creating the content we enjoy every day on the web.

Originating in Spain, presented in 10 languages, with much effort going into the web design and add-ons to make the initiative work more easily with WordPress and Drupal, the Humans.txt concept seems to have suffered from little adoption and active promotion came to a halt in July 2016 - at least according to their Twitter feed (@humanstxt) and Facebook page.

But not before getting the attention of the folks at Google:

"Google is built by a large team of engineers, designers, researchers, robots, and others in many different sites across the globe. It is updated continuously, and built with more tools and technologies than we can shake a stick at. If you'd like to help us out, see google.com/careers." - https://www.google.com/humans.txt

Many clients don't want the name and/or link of the developer on the web pages. In my business, I found this to be true about 50% of the time.

The Humans.txt folks have suggested uploading a copy of the humans.txt file to the web root and using one of their logos to link to it. But even if the client doesn't want the small logo on the web pages, having the information in a standardized, expected place could prove valuable.

The txt file itself is simple to create. They have suggested a standard to make them more useful to a larger group of people. There is a sample on their website. But it is just a suggestion and any format that is clear and concise will do.

I reached out to their email address with a few questions I had concerning the suspension of the initiative, but so far I have received no reply. I'll update this post if I hear from them in the future.

While I wouldn't recommend using their plugins at this point, as they've gotten a bit old and I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to security, the concept is still a good one.

Twitter feed (@humanstxt) and Facebook page.

The website says that "humans.txt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License" so I believe it would be safe to use their logo buttons to point to your humans.txt file.

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Quoting the humanstxt.org website, "You can download the official humansTXT logos and include them in your sites. Please remember you should ask for permission if you are not the owner of the site." "We encourage placing the logo in the footer, and don’t forget to add a link to your humans.txt file!"

If you use the humans.txt file, let them know by posting it to their Twitter feed (@humanstxt) and Facebook page. They had to take down their page that was designed to recognize you because of spammers (curse you, Spammer Baron).

If you've been looking for a way to be recognized for your hard work, this is one answer that will provide standardization. If visitors know to look for the humans.txt file at your domain, you will get the recognition you deserve (and maybe even a few phone calls).

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