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contacts refers to a set of people, organizations, groups and anything else with one or more addresses (often URLs) for communication.

Contacts may be stored in a local text file, on your server (e.g. like a nicknames-cache), or accessed via a proprietary silo API (e.g. Gmail, Google Contacts), or CardDAV from a silo or some other server.

Use Cases

Publish Some Followings

  • "I want to publicly publish a list of people I follow, but there are some people I follow that I do not want public" -aaronpk

Notifications Filter

  • "I want to get push notifications when certain people post, but no notifications for the rest" -aaronpk

Reader Filter

  • "only show me items from NYTimes that 3+ friends have commented on" -tantek
  • "thresholds - only show me items from this person that someone else has commented on (or other activity including liking, reposting)" -tantek

Mention Lookup

  • "What is the URL for John Doe so I can mention him" -benthatmustbeme

Birthday calendars

Lookup anytime

  • “How did I get in touch with that person” - Martijn van der Ven
    • Accessible offline and on the go.

Register non-public information

  • “I have the residential address for someone to be able to visit them, I have to store this myself because they do not publish it elsewhere.” - Martijn van der Ven

Privacy Concerns

Exporting your Social Graph from the Silo

Google Data Portability representative: "We want to work on it. We want to do it in a way that is comprehensive but also respects people's privacy. We don't know what the answer is." IWC NYC '18 Data Portability

Indieweb Examples

  • Ben Roberts has had a UI in InkBlot since 2016(?) to allow merging any known identities together (as discovered from webmentions). This allows to have one image for a person no matter which location a reply or like came from. (show the same name / image for a like from twitter and a comment from facebook)
  • Kyle Mahan keeps a public view of contacts at
  • ...

See Also