[rdfweb-dev] Re: Friendster

Bill Kearney wkearney99 at h...
Thu Dec 19 01:17:58 UTC 2002

> You could also bypass lengthy form filling when you sign up on forums
> or mailing lists or something. You could have an import FOAF
> information option and you'd only need to fill in your username,
> password and email address (as well as location of your FOAF file, of
> course). It could then match the email addresses (or hashed versions)
> and send and email to the address if they are the same. This would
> send a 'confirm your identity' email with a link to click - if that
> is clicked then the relevant information that the board needs
> (location, homepage, interests, etc.) can be grabbed and used to fill
> in the remaining fields. I'd certainly be interested in something
> like that.

Gee, ya mean like how MSN messenger and Passport already does this sort of

> You could have an option to alert you if something like FOAFNaut
> found someone who knows you but you don't have on your knows: list.

And rapidly drive people insane by sending them denial-of-service levels of
messages as people dick around with foaf listings. Be careful how informed you
think you want to be. If a bunch of people start jamming up your inbox or, god
forbid, your instant messenger with foaf:knows requests it'll get old *really
fast*. Perhaps something akin to gnu-mailman's way of 'bulking up'
administrative message alerts. You get one request daily regardless of the
number pending. That way you're not deluged with requests all during the day.

> I also like another idea - simiar to the idea that you can send
> someone your contacts in ICQ. If you had your information on the smae
> sever/in the same database it would be simple to request permission
> share someone else's knows list (you could edit it before updating
> your list) - I've added this to my 'to do' list as it would be very
> handy if you know someone who has a big FOAF file and knows a lot of
> the same people (why replicate the effort?).

Transitive trusts; now there's a king-size can of worms.

> A broader idea might be that you could also contact someone who has
> their FOAF information elsewhere and request permission to grab their
> knows: list and if they were OK with that then it would be relatively
> simple to grab that data and that to your database.

Yes, that has some level of merit. Or as you're doing, listing that you 'know'
a community of users which, in turn, claims to know other foaf users. This is
probably better. But raises issues about community listing in foaf.

> As the knows: files are open for all to see it wouldn't be any bother
> to just copy and paste it into a FOAF file but the above are based on
> the information being stored in a database and also I prefer the idea
> or it being a friendly consentual kind of thing which is in the
> spirit of FOAF ;)

I'd caution that making it "too easy" at the outset might be a mistake. Having
people 'sweat the details' a little might give them pause to doing a better job
of it. Although I may be too optimistic here...

-Bill Kearney

More information about the foaf-dev mailing list