LOAF is a simple extension to email that lets you append your entire address book to outgoing mail message without compromising your privacy. Correspondents can use this information to prioritize their mail, and learn more about their social networks.
LOAF creates and maintains a database of all your correspondents, defined as people to whom you have sent email at least once. Every time you send an email message, LOAF appends this information to the email message, using a format described further below. LOAF-enabled correspondents collect and store this information in their own local databases.
When you receive an email from an address you have not previously written to, LOAF checks to see if the email address is known to any of your existing correspondents. This essentially sorts incoming email into three categories:
1. Mail from complete strangers
These are people whom you do not know, and who are also unknown to your correspondents.
2. Mail from partial strangers
These are people you have never sent email to, but who have gotten email from at least one of your own correspondents. This email may deserve more attention, since at least one of your correspondents took the time to write back to the person.
3. Mail from people you know.
This last category consists of people whom you have written to before. Presumably this is email you're most interested in, unless it's another forward from your mom.
Mail in category (2) can be further classified by counting how many correspondents you and the sender have in common. If the originating email appears in the address books of several of your correspondents, this may indicate a person with whom you have many connections. Insert standard social network theory here.
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