“ Social media sites are
like data silos” John Breslin. Member of W3C Advisory Group and founder of SIOC Flight times, blog entries, bookmarks, and news stories are usually delivered in different formats and readable by different applications.
The Semantic Web is an
attempt to link up various clouds of information. The Semantic web aims to mesh this data and make it machine readable - globally.
This has profound implications for
the whole web, social media sites....and journalists Recent product launches have offered us a coherent vision of what the early semantic web will look like. Headup Twine OpenID Semantic Radar Gnosis Open Calais Search Monkey
Semantic Language Specific projects underpin
the Semantic Web include: Open ID - a free tool to use a single digital ID. 10,000 sites now support SIOC - Semantically Interlinked Online Communities - is the language necessary to do the same for ‘objects’ FOAF is the language to enable us to use our profile data from one social media site to create another and mesh our various identities across the web
And the impact will extend
beyond the web... Your RSS reader may scan blog posts and news items for names that are in your contacts file. You may then be given the option, for example, of contacting them via mail or Twitter.
‘ A lot of the
focus from the public or media regarding the Semantic Web has been in relation to search. But it's not solely about finding those relevant objects (people, places, etc.) through "Google killers", and its not only about the Internet (despite being called web 3.0!), but it's also about providing ways to allow systems (on the desktop, or the Web, or media servers - whatever) to interoperate with each other as well,’ John Breslin - Oct 2008
Twine - a new social
media site underpinned by semantic technology. Beta invite only October 07 to 08. Open October 2008.
<ul><li>It aims to offer far
more functionality than other social bookmarking sites </li></ul><ul><li>emphasis on the ‘network’ element enabling you to interact with ‘twines’ - groups who share the same interest </li></ul><ul><li>and uses semantic technology to make relevant recommendations:........... </li></ul>
While ‘discovery’ sites such as
delicious and digg hold attention for around 2 minutes per session Twine members hang around for 15. And here is a nice touch..... This is Nova Spivack on Twine. Twine founder. And here are links to his other web ‘profiles’ Including facebook and his FOAF file
Semantic Radar Semantic Radar is
a free Firefox plugin. Alerts you when you encounter a page that contains semantic metadata. For example, some social media sites export profile information as FOAF files - Vox, LiveJournal
This is ‘dianach’ on LiveJournal.
She write a blog on Peace in Georgia. When I navigate here, my Firefox browser alerts me to semantic data. This is the radar icon on Firefox showing this page contains FOAF data.
When I place my cursor
over the name of Erik Poppe in teh news story a pop-up window appears giving me the option to search in: Linkedin, Facebook, Reuters and Wikipedia among others. This is the Wikipedia result which appears in a different Firefox tab. This new page is automatically processed and highlighted
This functionality applies semantic web
solutions to non-semantic web pages. Other tools are emerging using similar tactics. Headup is another application that ‘layers’ information onto the web page that you are looking at. Launched by Semantinet, it is a browser plugin that meshes data from your social network accounts.
Semantic web search Sindice and
SWSE are both search tools that index and point to semantic web data. Results from Sindice are being used by developers to improve web applications by providing enhanced information. Keyword searches are interesting but they are not geared up yet for lay users.
Open Calais The Open Calais
project is a offers a range of free tools to publishers, bloggers and content provders. Uses natural language processing to analyse content. Places facts in metadata in a way that allows it to be linked (meshed) with other data in exciting ways. For example, publishers are feeding their whole archives through Calais to be tagged making it easier to search and filter. http://blip.tv/file/869705
Search Monkey is Yahoo’s foray
into the semantic web. It aims to build the ‘next generation’ of search results by allowing third party developers to build functionality onto Yahoo’s platform which is based on semantic language - such as FOAF and SIOC. You can now choose from around 70 search enhancements including 16 for entertainment and 8 for technology.
Does Diana know that her
FOAF profile is exported by LiveJournal? Will our friends know that headup is using their preferences and interests to form my recommendations? Do people who have FOAF profiles know their profiles exist outside of the social networks they joined?
Does the average LiveJournal user
know that their profile has been converted to a FOAF file and is now translatable by any number of new semantic products? Internet users will have to become used to the fact that the information that they don't specify as private, can automatically end up on the semantic web? I recently interviewed John Breslin about this. I asked:
‘ No, certainly people aren't
aware that many sites are making semantic forms of their content available which can be reused elsewhere. Tribe.net recently turned off their FOAF exports after a user complained that his/her profile was being copied for use elsewhere. Similar things happened with people blogging and finding that content from their RSS feeds was popping up on other sites. There certainly has to be more thought put into educating users and towards having opt-in / opt-out mechanisms when implementing semantic exports, especially for personal content and profiles.’ This is John Breslin’s reply:
Privacy web2.0 has demonstrated that
journalists can access private and sensitive information in unexpected ways. Journalists need to keep talking about what is professionally acceptable and what is not. There is likely to be even more scope for accessing personal data in web3.0