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"Whatever I can get..."


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"Whatever I can get..."

From the Social Network Portability WebCamp @ Cork, Ireland.

Talk by Dan Brickley on Social Network Portability, FOAF, and a claims-based approach to thinking about how various technologies fit together.

Published in: Technology, Business
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"Whatever I can get..."

  1. 1. Social Network portability Cork, March 1st 2008 “Whatever I can get...” Dan Brickley FOAF project
  2. 2. Dan Brickley • • • seeAlso
  3. 3. “whatever I can get”...
  4. 4. What happens when the data walls come down? What if we get our data back? Are we playing with fire?
  5. 5. Outline • Some FOAF background • “Say it? show it!” - evidential vs asserted • Terminology, tech and trends: acronym soup • Claim graphs: who, what and how of claims • Implementation (from desktop to planet)
  6. 6. Non-problems • Facebook • Microformats ‘versus’ Semantic Web • Google, Microsoft,Yahoo, ‘The Man’, ... • Ambiguity • Getting there in small steps
  7. 7. FOAF • ‘an experimental linked information system’ • Let’s see what happens when the claims in linked homepages can be read by computers • Life back then: ’99 dot-com boom,, XML fever! Early RDF • Everyone, everything, connected...
  8. 8. Doh! Early Mistakes • foaf:knows [massively used] • foaf:knowsWell [removed] • foaf:friend [removed] “So you know me well, but you don’t consider me a friend? Thanks Buddy!”
  9. 9. ‘Don’t say it, show it!’ • Emphasised ‘gentle’ claims with FOAF • No DB-admin to play God • Balanced with activist concerns (but who is fair game to be annotated?) • foaf:knows had a lower emotional temperature, ... so where’s the warmth?
  10. 10. Co-Depiction 1.0
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. A is for... F OA F M F H P O S E XM P P K V F L E O E S N N S N P S I OC T A D A R D F OA U T H Q O L H C A R D M C
  13. 13. Terms (vocab) F OA F H P S E XM K V F L O E N S N S I OC T A T O HC A R D M C
  14. 14. Infrastructure (neutral) M F O XM P P E S N P I A D A R D F OA U T H Q O L M
  15. 15. Claim graphs? • Social graph: the latest fancy name for social network? • map versus territory: graphs as descriptions of the world • Any Giant Global Graph must embrace dispute, lies, disagreement, stale data. • Who said it & where, why... really matters!
  16. 16. Microformats + RDF • We can think of both as making claims • mf syntax is hand-optimised, hand-parsed • mf parsers currently have varied outputs • RDF is claim centric (see FOAF diagram) • SPARQL adds when/who/why context
  17. 17. SPARQL - a system for querying RDF databases Claim-based: SPARQL data not just ‘how old is John?’ = RDF data but ‘who says that John is 30?’ + context ☑ REST/JSON-friendly ☑ works with rdf, microformats ☑ can be ACL’d with OAuth ☑ mix data but keep context ☑ Opensource Java, PHP/MySQL etc tools
  18. 18. Desktop claim stores? KDE 4.0 Desktop RDF Sommer Beatnik Addressbook ...SPARQL-able collections of claims on desktop Hacking with Henry Story on basic SPARQL/XMPP access
  19. 19. Blog-based claim stores? ☑ crawled db of claims (foaf, xfn...) Morten Frederiksen ☑ Expose as SPARQL endpoint Benjamin Nowack ☑ FOAFNaut :) Alexandre Passant ☑ Wordpress for UI Uldis Bojars & me ☑ Scales by ignoring rest of Web
  20. 20. SELECT DISTINCT ?p WHERE { GRAPH ?g { ?s ?p ?o . } }
  21. 21. OK, desktops, blogs... What next? SPARQL aggregators Search Engines
  22. 22. Google SGAPI • Global perspective: which pages claim which others, in terms of XFN/FOAF relations? • Who says what about • Lingering death of Privacy by Obsurity? • Public data only. The public record?
  23. 23. My Toy App • Every mail in my laptop sent-mail • Every mail address hashed, sent to SGAPI • Found FOAF/XFN descriptions of contacts
  24. 24. Mixed evidence • Who do I send mail to? • Who comments on my blog? • Whose comments do I respond to? • Who do I travel with? Say it or show it...? Evidential approach...
  25. 25. ForEzzample... • Google SGAPI can map identity URLs • Flickr machine-tags can do co-depiction • We can rebuild codepiction and scale! • Fun Facebook apps! And OpenSocial! • But what if a photo suprises, scares someone? Reveals too much about their life, location, kids, ... how to take-down?
  26. 26. Collaboration with MIT CSAIL’s DIG group
  27. 27. There are many kinds of claim we can aggregate. Some claims can be taken as evidence for others. Recap Some claims would be made differently for different audiences. Some kinds of claim are more neutral, verifiable, objective. Sometimes checking involves caring about who made the claim. eg. I’ll rely on the employer more than the employee. eg. If you claim to be Fred’s friend, I look for Fred’s reciprocal claim. If I consider you a friend, maybe I won’t write that in the public Web. If you and I act like friends, maybe my claim store will notice anyway. Having a personal or community-restricted store of such data is useful: - I’d like to have richer views of flickr, twitter, blogs than they offer - I’d like to define groups of people based on various info about them - Sometimes I’ll sync this into public sites, but the Web doesn’t get it all. We should all be free to make whatever claims we like in the Web. Specs that don’t define terms for claim-making should be term-neutral. SPARQL is one such specification. SPARQL with XMPP and OAuth, allow claims to be mixed across public/ private/group boundaries without losing too much context.
  28. 28. Conclusions • Privacy is not dead, and we won’t get over it • XMPP will be a core protocol • SPARQL is worth exploring • Show it don’t say it! • Social data as claim graphs • 2008 will be fun :)
  29. 29. Thanks! (also to Libby & Damian for discussions) Questions?