[uf-discuss] XFN for email addresses?

Pelle W mejllistor at kodfabrik.se
Fri Jun 15 00:19:25 PDT 2007

The two concerns that I can come up with is that if one site wants an 
e-mail adress for their xfn-links and another wants an url then I all of 
the sudden have to identities without connection between them. The 
solution to that would be the ability to specify both e-mail and url for 
the same person - could this perhaps be done with an hCard?

The other concern is that an e-mail often has to be written with some 
kind of a spam-protection - how does that relate to having it as an 
identification string? I often write foo(SNABEL-A)bar(PUNKT)se when I 
write mails on my site and then I parse them with JavaScript so that it 
becomes a real adress in the end - this should protect me from non 
javascript enabled spambots. The question then is - what mail should xfn 
"see" - the parsed or the non-parsed? And what if one of my friends adds 
me and chooses a different spamprotection?

The easy solution would be to have a personal unified spamprotected mail 
- but then no one else than persons can mail them, not even the sites 
which I may register my e-mail to. What if say Last.fm for example would 
like to implement this XFN on their users friends list. They need to 
protect their users' emails but they haven't had their users specify 
their own spamprotection. Should they then demand a personal 
spamprotection from each user? Should they skip it or choose on of their 

The only real solution would be to adopt a personal spamprotected mail 
in addition to the real mail for each user - right? And then that string 
could be almost anything that uniquely identifies the user - their phone 
number, their pets name, a public encryption key etc.

/ Pelle

Chris Messina skrev:
> While I've resisted the temptation so far, it does seem that, in order
> to build a relevant and useful cross-social networking tool -- I need
> a way to use email addresses as well as URLs to identify people. In
> particular, you'll notice that most social networks currently (and
> unfortunately) ask you to login to your webmail accounts (Gmail,
> Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to discover whether your contacts are already on
> the site and if not, to invite them via email. Clearly without a
> widespread way to message people via their URLs, this is the only
> reliable method to invite people to join whatever the latest social
> network is.
> I'm not here to critique the behavior but instead to recognize what
> the market currently accepts and treats as acceptable.
> I created a simple XFN aggregating application, it occurs to me that
> adding email addresses, both for the purpose of rel-me links and for
> contact links is actually useful and something that should be
> supported in XFN (it's currently not clear whether this is acceptable
> or not; I'm making the case that it should be).
> Therefore, this:
> <a href="mailto:buddy at foo.com" rel="contact">Buddy</a>
> should be as acceptable as this:
> <a href="http://foo.com/buddy" rel="contact">Buddy</a>
> And, on http://foo.com/buddy, this should be permissible:
> <a href="mailto:buddy at foo.com" rel="me">Buddy</a>
> Clearly the biggest issue I see with this scheme is the inability to
> link out *from* the email address. However, I'm not sure that this
> case nullifies the utility of such links.
> Thoughts are welcome.
> Chris

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