[rdfweb-dev] Message routing

Ian Davis iand at internetalchemy.org
Tue Aug 19 18:44:43 UTC 2003

On Tuesday, 19 August 2003 at 16:19, Julian Bond wrote:
> As a complete aside, I can feel a lazyweb request coming on. Some
> service that allowed an initial contact between parties that don't know 
> each other; which protected each other's identity from spam, spoofing 
> and so on; which provided privacy and a measure of anonymity; but 
> allowed a controlled way to open up to each other. Oh, and it ought to 
> be de-centralized. Not exactly trivial, then. ;-)
The nearest thing that I've seen to this is the contact mechanism in
LinkedIn (which I'm sure you've explored thoroughly). Contacting
someone you've never met is achieved by the system routing your
request via someone you're connected to directly. They then have the
option of passing it on or not at their own discretion depending on
how much they trust you and value their relationship with the next in
the chain. I _believe_ that that the process is partially anonymous. I
think the intermediate nodes in this chain are not given your full

It certainly addresses all the spoofing and trust issues since you
only ever deal with people you've stated are direct connections to
you. I could achieve the same effect without LinkedIn by performing a
series of random walks through my address book and asking those people
to do the same in the hope that my message finally gets to the
intended contact. The value LinkedIn provides is complete knowledge of
the network. Interesting that the company is aiming to make money from
the emergent data rather than from the individuals' data.

-- Ian <iand at internetalchemy.org>
"Comments lie. Code doesn't."

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