1. FOAF, OpenID &
the Social Web
Milan, May 12th 2008
2. Convergence ’08:
... the Social Web
3. How did we get here?
Rise of the ‘social network’ site
Parallel rise of key ‘open’ technologies
2008 is the year it all opens up...
Brief history of the Semantic Web project
briefer history of Social Network sites
impact of OpenID and OAuth
4. In the beginning...
...was the Web
5. “To a computer, the Web is a ﬂat, boring world, devoid of “For example, a document might describe a person.
meaning. This is a pity, as in fact documents on the Web The title document to a house describes a house and
describe real objects and imaginary concepts, and give also the ownership relation with a person.”
particular relationships between them.”
“Adding semantics to the Web involves two things: allowing
documents which have information in machine-readable
forms, and allowing links to be created with relationship
values. [this will] help us exploit the information to a greater
extent than our own reading.”
Tim Berners-Lee quot;W3 future directionsquot; keynote - 1st World Wide Web Conference Geneva, May 1994
6. Web pages
... Web pages reﬂect a (complex) world
7. The Semantic Web project:
‘let machines use the claims made in Web pages’
what objects do they describe?
what relationships do they claim?
who made the claims? what other claims support them?
Who made the claims? (OpenID)
What about private data? (OAuth)
Better publishing in HTML? (Microformats/RDFa)
Querying all this data? (W3C SPARQL)
8. A is for...
F OA F M F H
P O S C
XM P P K A
F L E O L
S N N S
P S I OC
A D A
R D F OA U T H
L H C A R D M
9. Terms (vocab)
F OA F H
P S C
XM K A
F L O L
N S E
S I OC
HC A R D M
10. Infrastructure (neutral)
XM P P
A D A
R D F OA U T H
Social Network services evolve...
code visits data
data visits code
13. FOAF is a project about sharing information in the Web.
It's about ways of describing things using computers,
so that those descriptions can be linked together,
mixed up with other data, and searched.
Friend of a Friend
People, groups, accounts, photos, IM, life on the Web.
Machine-readable pages, de-centralised, freely extensible.
14. Everyone’s connected? Don’t say it, show it:
...the evidence friendship leaves in the world and Web
Work. Fun. Beer. Travel. Writings. Events. Music. Photos. Life.
“Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.”- Harvey Pekar
15. Image description example:
Not just buddylists, but the things we make and do.
16. Group description example:
Not just people, but the groups they are members of
17. Data-merging example:
Henry says, “My name is ‘Henry Story”
Joe says, “I know Henry who knows Jane”
Joe knows someone called “Henry Story”
18. FOAF support in Apple MacOSX Safari:
19. Tabulator, a FOAF-aware browser:
20. Scaling to the Web?
“Oracle Spatial 11g introduces the industry's ﬁrst open, scalable, secure and reliable RDF management
platform. Based on a graph data model, RDF triples are persisted, indexed and queried, similar to other
object-relational data types.
Application areas include Social Network Applications, Friend of a Friend applications, social network
tracking and navigation common in security and intelligence applications”
(competing with e.g. OpenLink and numerous opensource systems)
22. FOAF/XFN in Google Social Graph API:
'The Social Graph API makes information
about the public connections between
people on the web more easily available.'
Based on open standards ... Google “currently indexes the public Web for
XHTML Friends Network (XFN), Friend of a Friend (FOAF) markup and
other publicly declared connections. By supporting open Web standards for
describing connections between people, web sites can add to the social
infrastructure of the web.”
23. FOAF/RDFa in Yahoo search
Without a killer semantic web
app for consumers, site owners
have been reluctant to support
standards like RDF, or even
microformats. We believe that
app can be web search.
...we plan to support vocabulary
from Dublin Core, Creative
Commons, FOAF, GeoRSS,
MediaRSS, and others. ... we will
support RDFa and eRDF markup
to embed these into existing
24. Social Graph browser:
25. OpenID & OAuth
Wired: “Taken together, OpenID and
OAuth establish an open, reusable
means of turning the whole web into
your own personal social network.”
Sign-in with a URL
Identify buddies with URLs
Inter-site data permissioning system
Richer infrastructure for cross-site integration
26. What can we do today?
Migrate proﬁles between sites
Use OpenID to label source of claims
Use FOAF & Microformats to describe owner of OpenID
Use Google SG API to ﬁnd old friends on new sites
Navigate uniﬁed ‘Social Graph’ with alternate UI
27. User experience impact?
OpenID is a learning experience...
Reduce email-based “add a friend” noise
Less work to enter and enjoy a new ‘social’ site
User education needed re privacy exposure
More focussed, specialist sites (travel, music, food, tv, events)
28. Greater than sum of parts?
OpenID gives Identity not Trust
FOAF/RDF gives claim-based description, not Trust
Linked data approach allows Trust to ﬂow
If you are sure about ‘danbri.org’, and
danbri.org claims same owner as
danbri.livejournal.com, ... you have a basis
for believing claims from the latter.
(Google SGAPI does just this)
29. What can we expect tommorrow?
Focus moving from individuals to groups:
super-connectors will link sites
communities will spread across sites
Evidence-based friend lists: Identiﬁed by OpenID.
Described by FOAF/XFN.
people I send mail to
Shared with OAuth.
people I work with Syndicated with RSS/Atom.
members of my family Notiﬁed via XMPP.
Searched by Yahoo/Google/...?
people in my city
Data ﬂow; implicit groups; offsite ﬁltering