A brief introduction to Yenta

I have implemented, and am continuing to improve, a system called Yenta. It provides privacy-protected, distributed, automatic generation of clusters of users who are interested in similar topics. This is a sort of coalition-building or matchmaking system. These clusters then serve as the basis for introducting users to each other. Users can send messages to particular other users, or to everyone in the cluster. In addition to its obvious role in introducing people who have never met, Yenta can serve in another role: finding people in the same organization, perhaps only a few offices away from each other, who should have known that they are working on similar projects or with similar tools, but didn't, because it never occurred to either party to mention it to the other.

Every user runs their own copy of Yenta, and the various Yentas communicate with each other, arranging introductions and passing messages. Personal information is tightly protected, without requiring large amounts of trust either in the network or in any Yenta not under your own control. The eventual goal is the ubiquitous distribution of Yenta across the Internet.

There are three major motivations for this work:

Getting your own copy of Yenta

Read this quick five-minute pitch for exactly what Yenta can do for you, and how you can get a copy.

If you think you might be interested in helping to port Yenta to a new platform, please let me know.

Finding out more about Yenta

There are a lot of ways to find out about Yenta; here are some pointers.

Lenny Foner
Last modified: Thu Feb 10 00:05:52 EST 2000