The EGFAR web space Using Web 2.0 technologies to electronically mimic GFAR   Ajit Maru, Valeria Pesce
What is GFAR <ul><li>The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) is a  multi-stakeholder  initiative to  discuss and ...
What is GFAR <ul><li>The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) is a  multi-stakeholder  initiative to  discuss and ...
GFAR    EGFAR *  http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html?page=4 A Web 2.0 approac...
Web 2.0 for EGFAR The Web 2.0 approach responded to our needs because Web 2.0  technologies are light-weight, “pluggable” ...
Web 2.0 for EGFAR The  GCSE , through its collaboration facility, allows stakeholders to contribute and collectively build...
Web 2.0 for EGFAR An  RSS aggregator   publishes ARD related news coming from partner websites RSS feeds  making GFAR info...
Web 2.0 for EGFAR <ul><ul><li>EGFAR  retrieves  data from the Infosys+ and  Wisard databases of organizations through  HTT...
Next steps <ul><li>Web 2.0 services that will soon be available include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new RESTful web services to...
Next steps <ul><li>Adding value  customising Web 2.0 tools so that they meet the needs and expectations of the ARD communi...
EGFAR and Web 2.0 - Summary <ul><li>Subsidiarity and decentralisation distributed content management, distributed database...
Challenges (1) <ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>The most important challenge for EGFAR now is building awareness in...
Challenges (2) <ul><li>The proliferation of communities </li></ul><ul><li>With Web 2.0, services are typically built for /...
Challenges (3) <ul><li>Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 technologies could be better exploited and the services based o...
Challenges (4) <ul><li>Adding value </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information services: mapping v...
EGFAR web space Using Web2 technologies to electronically mimic GFAR   Thank you for your attention GFAR Secretariat c/o F...
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The EGFAR web space: Using Web 2.0 technologies to electronically mimic GFAR

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Presented at the Web2forDev Conference held in Rome in September 2007.

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The EGFAR web space: Using Web 2.0 technologies to electronically mimic GFAR

  1. 1. The EGFAR web space Using Web 2.0 technologies to electronically mimic GFAR Ajit Maru, Valeria Pesce
  2. 2. What is GFAR <ul><li>The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to discuss and act on issues of global concern related to agricultural research for development (ARD) </li></ul><ul><li>As a neutral platform, GFAR is expected to facilitate the flow of information and knowledge among ARD stakeholders </li></ul>This definition of the scope of GFAR guided us in the re-engineering of EGFAR, the GFAR website
  3. 3. What is GFAR <ul><li>The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to discuss and act on issues of global concern related to agricultural research for development (ARD) </li></ul><ul><li>As a neutral platform, GFAR is expected to facilitate the flow of information and knowledge among ARD stakeholders </li></ul>flow of information multi-stakeholder discuss and act communication participation decentralisation subsidiarity information sharing facilitated access
  4. 4. GFAR  EGFAR * http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html?page=4 A Web 2.0 approach typically leverages distributed architectures and light web services implement - decentralised management - a gateway in a distributed architecture of data sources / data consumers A Web 2.0 approach allows ”hackability” and re-mixability * <ul><li>provide a model for regional information systems and support their implementation: </li></ul><ul><li>easily replicable architecture; </li></ul><ul><li>pluggable services </li></ul>implement more participative forms of creating content and sharing information and views EGFAR has been re-engineered so that it can mimic the physical space GFAR creates for discussion and action on ARD issues general objective approach A Web 2.0 approach typically builds collaborative and participative environments communication participation decentralisation subsidiarity information sharing facilitated access
  5. 5. Web 2.0 for EGFAR The Web 2.0 approach responded to our needs because Web 2.0 technologies are light-weight, “pluggable” and easily implemented means to aggregate and disseminate distributed information and create a collaborative environment communication participation decentralisation subsidiarity information sharing facilitated access
  6. 6. Web 2.0 for EGFAR The GCSE , through its collaboration facility, allows stakeholders to contribute and collectively build a searchable base of web contents The wiki-like Open Site on EGFAR creates a truly neutral platform for sharing views and knowledge Allow stakeholders to create collaborative contents and “pools of knowledge” Google Custom Search Engine (GCSE) wiki Allow stakeholders to collaboratively build a searchable base of web contents Facilitating communication and participation objectives Web 2.0 technologies communication participation decentralisation subsidiarity information sharing facilitated access
  7. 7. Web 2.0 for EGFAR An RSS aggregator publishes ARD related news coming from partner websites RSS feeds making GFAR information (news and events, documents) available in a standard format (1) A customized and integrated GCSE allows unified searches on EGFAR partner websites Google Custom Search Engine (GCSE) Feeds (2) RSS feed of all the contents of the collaborative Open Site Disseminate information on GFAR activities in real time Sharing web contents among stakeholders Feed aggregator News feeds Facilitating the flow of information Aggregate and disseminate information from and to the stakeholders in real time objectives Web 2.0 technologies communication participation decentralisation subsidiarity information sharing facilitated access
  8. 8. Web 2.0 for EGFAR <ul><ul><li>EGFAR retrieves data from the Infosys+ and Wisard databases of organizations through HTTP calls and XML parsing </li></ul></ul>Representational State Transfer (REST) services Feeds Representational State Transfer (REST) services Feeds Query and aggregate data from external databases <ul><ul><li>The GFAR institutions database and the GFAR document repository are accessible through HTTP calls and send XML responses compliant to widely accepted standards </li></ul></ul>Facilitating the flow of information Make GFAR owned databases (institutions, publications) available for display in partner websites objectives Web 2.0 technologies communication participation decentralisation subsidiarity information sharing facilitated access
  9. 9. Next steps <ul><li>Web 2.0 services that will soon be available include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new RESTful web services to allow other websites to tap into information available on EGFAR; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tools integrating external popular services exposing their APIs (blogs, social bookmarks, news readers, maps) through AJAX or REST requests; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>free tagging for the Open Site </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Next steps <ul><li>Adding value customising Web 2.0 tools so that they meet the needs and expectations of the ARD community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding semantic value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>mapping different vocabularies to a “community ontology” / “community tags” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>using community ontology / tags for searches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>quality control and digesting </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. EGFAR and Web 2.0 - Summary <ul><li>Subsidiarity and decentralisation distributed content management, distributed databases, REST web services </li></ul><ul><li>Flow of information / Content sharing RSS, wiki, Google Custom Search Engine </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating access to data sources REST, tagging, Google Custom Search Engine </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating communication / participation wiki, community tags </li></ul>
  12. 12. Challenges (1) <ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>The most important challenge for EGFAR now is building awareness in effectively using its webspace as a collaborative platform. </li></ul><ul><li>“ a key Web 2.0 principle: the service automatically gets better the more people use it” </li></ul><ul><li>(Tim O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0”*) </li></ul>* http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html
  13. 13. Challenges (2) <ul><li>The proliferation of communities </li></ul><ul><li>With Web 2.0, services are typically built for / by a community . EGFAR too has a community of users. Communities are separate and overlap and this sometimes discourages participation in new communities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All existing efforts towards universal user accounts should be looked into (e.g. Open ID ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At least in the agricultural/development community, ways should be explored to access different communities with as few as possible accounts, hopefully one </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Challenges (3) <ul><li>Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 technologies could be better exploited and the services based on it could be better automated if the ARD community agreed on standards for sharing information. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific agricultural metadata sets should be added to the basic RSS metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>information services should implement web services in the same way to allow complete interoperability </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Challenges (4) <ul><li>Adding value </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information services: mapping vocabularies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information sources: adding semantic information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Precision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>selection of sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>guidelines about coverage and scope of sources </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. EGFAR web space Using Web2 technologies to electronically mimic GFAR Thank you for your attention GFAR Secretariat c/o FAO (SDR), viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153, Rome [email_address] www.egfar.org Ajit Maru, Valeria Pesce

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