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Weekend Project: Set Up Webfinger on Your Server(s)

Jul 13, 2010, 20:08 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

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"Webfinger is a new Internet "identity discovery" mechanism, with which you can make personal or professional information about you or your organization discoverable through email addresses. Several well-known web service providers have implemented Webfinger for their customers' profiles, but if you manage your own mail server, all it takes to join the game is a little time.

"Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

"The name Webfinger is a reference to the old finger protocol (RFC 1288) from the 1990s. Those of us who are old enough to have had email addresses then remember how it worked -- an acquaintance from a mailing list might know only your email address; running finger yourname@example.com at the command line would return a block of text from the example.com mail server.

"Its contents might be domain-wide standard information, such as your first and last name and login state, but it could be anything else, via a customized file that you edited. Phone number, office hours, ASCII artwork, page after page of obscure Klingon poetry -- it was entirely up to the email account owner and often reflected his or her tastes as much as it provided concrete data."

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