Chris Schmidt (crschmidt) wrote in ljfoaf,
Chris Schmidt
crschmidt
ljfoaf

Searching for FOAF

In order to facilitate finding users more easily on LiveJournal, an option was added to redirect to the FOAF output of a user, so that you can search directly through FOAF files.

By sending a GET or POST request to http://www.livejournal.com/multisearch.bml, you can find a redirection to a FOAF file based on:
  1. Username
  2. Email
  3. AOL IM
  4. ICQ number
  5. Yahoo! ID
  6. MSN username
  7. Jabber ID


The format of a query should be:

q=search string
For example, q=crschmidt

type=search type
keys are, respective to order of list above:
  1. user
  2. email
  3. aolim
  4. icq
  5. yahoo
  6. msn
  7. jabber


output=foaf
This sets the output type to FOAF. This is an alternative to displaying the LiveJournal user information page, such as the one at http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=crschmidt . Keep in mind that all values must be escaped: for example, the @ sign would change to %40, and so on. If the search does not return any results, a return page will look something like http://www.livejournal.com/multisearch.bml?q=crschmidt%40livejournal.com&type=email . (The default scheme, xcolibur, will be used. If you are currently viewing the page in something other than xcolibur, you can see it to compare the source at http://goathack.livejournal.org:8023/multisearch.bml?q=crschmidt%40livejournal.com&type=email&usescheme=xcolibur .)

Keep in mind, not all users list the same contact user everywhere - although I'm crschmidt@livejournal.com in one place, I'm crschmid@uiuc.edu in another. So, you may want to compare on several of the contact information fields to ensure you're looking at the same person. Also, some users may choose to hide their contact information, so the fact that a search doesn't return anything isn't neccesarily an indicator that the user doesn't have a LiveJournal account.

This is the easiest way to find users FOAF files on LiveJournal - simply generate a query string with the contact information, send it to multisearch.bml with output=foaf, and you'll hopefully get a FOAF page back :)
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