[ShelleyPowers] Define author? Do we mean a person? An organization? Or can an author be multiple people, writing as a single entity with one single level. Before you all decide to use dc:creator and drill down into the use of RDF for this, may I suggest that you define 'author' first?

[JoeGregorio]: How about the definition of Author being any entity that can be assigned a unique e-mail address? (I'm not trying to be smarmy here, but this would cover the case of individuals, organizations, companies, etc.)

[JoeGregorio]: Ooops, didn't mean to tightly intertwingle the concepts. How about this for a re-wording.

I didn't mean to say that you had to have an e-mail address, just using the ability to assign an entity an e-mail address as an marker of potential author-ship. So, for example, an anonymous poster or commentor may not have an e-mail address, but being a person, they could have an e-mail address and thus fall into the category of entities that can be authors.

[JoeMadia] How about allowing Author to be any one of the following:

JoeMadia has a good idea. Treat enhanced author concepts as modules.

[TimBray] Defining the notion of author is a hard and possibly open-ended problem. I suggest we just say authors are identified by URI (note, is a URI, so is Then let the community evolve best practices within the (very large) URI sandbox.

[TimothyAppnel] +1 to the suggestion by "the other Tim." and the use of an optional module of contributor for multi-author situations.

[JoeGregorio] I like that idea, and along with AaronSw's observations about journalism I propose:

[ClayShirky] AaronSw misread journalistic practice -- its more varied than he imagines, and in any case journalism is just one pattern that can be supported by weblogs. See my comments at NumberOfAuthorsDiscussion. (In fact, since part of the definition is the 0,1,N question, I think these two pages shoudl be merged under DefinitionOfAuthorDiscussion)

See also Authors, AuthorElement, DefinitionOfAuthorDiscussion