The Social Semantic Web


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Innovation at the Verge: Computational Models of Physical/Virtual Space Interaction / Lorentz Center, Leiden, The Netherlands / 18th December 2012

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The Social Semantic Web

  1. 1. John BreslinNational University of Ireland, Galway@johnbreslin /
  2. 2. Lecturer at NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics
  3. 3. • Researcher at DERI, NUI Galway
  4. 4. Social, semantics and me
  5. 5. 1990/1991: VAX/VMS “MAP.COM”
  6. 6. VMS BULLETIN redux
  7. 7. 1998: Set up a gaming forum2000: Co-founded from this• Ireland’s largest discussion forum site• 2.25 million visitors/month (~40% of Irish population)• Irish people seeking information, or just chatting about sports, TV, politics, health, whatever
  8. 8. Via
  9. 9. 2004: Joined DERI, founded the SIOCproject• Semantically- Interlinked Online Communities• Enables interoperability and exchange of social content: – Blogs, forums, wikis...
  10. 10. 2011: Co-founder of StreamGlider, Inc.• Real-time streaming newsreader• Supports social, multimedia, news• Can be used as an enterprise dashboard• With Nova Spivack and Bill McDaniel
  11. 11. Social platforms are like data silos image from
  12. 12. Many isolated communities of users andtheir data image from
  13. 13. Need ways to connect these islands image from
  14. 14. Allowing users to easily travel from one toanother image from
  15. 15. Enabling users to easily bring their data withthem image from
  16. 16. Object-centred sociality (AKA socialobjects)• Users are connected via a common object: – Their job, university, hobbies, interests, a date…• “According to this theory, people don’t just connect to each other. They connect through a shared object. […]Good services allow people to create social objects that add value.” – JyriEngestrom – Flickr = photos – = bookmarks – Blogs = discussion posts
  17. 17. It’s the social objects we create…• Discussions• Bookmarks• Annotations• Profiles• Microblogs• Multimedia
  18. 18. …that connect usto other people
  19. 19. Semantics
  20. 20. image from
  21. 21. Social semantic representationmodelsUsing ontologies to model social data
  22. 22. Two-way street: the Semantic Web can helpsocial spaces, vice versa• Can use the Semantic Web to describe people, content objects and the connections that bind them all together so that social spaces can interoperate via semantics• In the other direction, object-centered social spaces can serve as rich social data sources for semantic applications image from
  23. 23. The Social Semantic Web
  24. 24. FOAFFriend Of A Friend
  25. 25. What is FOAF?• An ontology for describing people and the relationships that exist between them: – – Identity, personal profiles and social networks – Can be integrated with other SW vocabularies• FOAF on the Web: – LiveJournal, MyOpera,, MyBlogLog, hi5, Fotothing, Videntity, FriendFeed, Ecademy, Typepad
  26. 26. FOAF at a glance
  27. 27. Distributed identity with FOAF
  28. 28. SIOC, pronounced shock image from
  29. 29. Semantically-Interlinked OnlineCommunities (SIOC)• Goal of the SIOC ontology is to address interoperability issues on the Social Web – – W3C member submission in 2007 – SIOC has been adopted in a framework of applications or modules deployed on hundreds of sites – Web 2.0, enterprise information integration, HCLS, e- government image from
  30. 30. Some of the SIOC core ontology classesand properties
  31. 31. Some applications using SIOC
  32. 32. RDFa on
  33. 33. RDFa in Drupal 7• Drupal CMS used by 2% of all sites (7% of CMS) – 24% of .gov sites• Drupal 7 release has Semantic Web support built-in• RDFa (SIOC, FOAF, Dublin Core, SKOS) data for blog posts, forums, etc.• Video at image from
  34. 34. SIOC can be used to...• ...provide a layer of rdfa metadata from a social website, e.g. to enhance search results>> superceded by• ...get a complete representation/XML dump of a social website (export, import)• a native format for social websites• other stuff; just imagine! image from
  35. 35. How much SSW data is out there? images (this one and later backgrounds) from
  36. 36. CommonCrawl• Muehleisen and Bizer • Results published on – LDOW @ WWW 2012 Monday 2 July 2012• 1.5 billion web pages at:• 3 billion RDF quads • /vocabulary-usage-• SIOC available from analysis/index.html at least 22k PLDs (pay-level domains)• FOAF on 27k PLDs
  37. 37. We have made all this SSW data,now let us dream about build theuseful applications!
  38. 38. Make a giant brain(-storm!)• Distributed conversation navigator• Comment search engine for the A in Q&A• Expert finding applications galore ... – Be cognisant of the huge growth in Social Semantic Web data being provided by the adopters of and its new terms
  39. 39. OPO (online presence ontology)• Aims to unify presence information and status notification processes across different services: – Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.• Help solve the information overload issue at the same time, by providing a means to identify who / which community the information should reach: sharing spaces
  40. 40. MOAT (meaning of a tag)•• A model to define "meanings" of tags – SPARQL →• User-driven interlinking• Tagged content enters Linked Data web• Collaborative approach towards the sharing of meanings in a community image from
  41. 41. An ontology stack for the Social SemanticWeb
  42. 42. Use case: Boeing inSite
  43. 43. Summary• Object-centred sociality refers to how we really use social spaces: – Can use semantics to describe this usage, by representing objects for linkage and reuse• Describe people, networks, content, presence, knowledge, tags, etc. with semantics• Providing solutions for novel uses on the public Web and in enterprise intranets
  44. 44. image from
  45. 45. Our book… …at Slides at