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Data Accessibility and Me: Introducing SIOC, FOAF and the Linked Data Web


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No Event / No Location / 1st April 2008

Published in: Technology, Design
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Data Accessibility and Me: Introducing SIOC, FOAF and the Linked Data Web

  1. 1. Data Accessibility & Me :-) Introducing SIOC, FOAF and the Linked Data Web Adapted from: John Breslin By: Kingsley Idehen URI: DataPortability Lunch Meetup in London 6 th April 2008
  2. 2. So many social media sites… * Source: Smashcut Media,
  3. 3. Even more services…
  4. 4. It takes a lot of time…
  5. 5. Filling out your profiles, re-adding your friends…
  6. 6. Uploading posts and content items to “stovepipes”!
  7. 7. Social media sites are like data silos * Source: Pidgin Technologies,
  8. 8. Many isolated communities of users and their data * Source: Pidgin Technologies,
  9. 9. Need ways to connect these islands * Source: Pidgin Technologies,
  10. 10. Allowing users to easily access their data across services via Hyperdata Links (URIs) * Source: Pidgin Technologies,
  11. 11. Enabling users to easily reference their data from anywhere * Source: Pidgin Technologies,
  12. 12. What if I use multiple services and I want to… <ul><li>Access (reference) the stuff I have on one service from another (e.g. mesh all my blog posts, comments, friends, etc. across my and “Acme Blogs”) </li></ul><ul><li>Make all my stuff from multiple services accessible to one third-party service </li></ul><ul><li>Centralise access to my stuff via my own service, e.g. my personal data space (comprised of blogs, Wikis, Bookmarks etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>See my stuff as part of the increasing mesh of Linked Data Sources on the Giant Global Graph </li></ul><ul><li>Need data accessibility! </li></ul>
  13. 13. (De-)centralised me
  14. 14. … that connect you to other people <ul><li>Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Annotations </li></ul><ul><li>Profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Microblogs </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>Control your data: these are the social objects…
  15. 15. The philosophy of DataPortability <ul><li>As users, our identity, photos, videos and other forms of personal data should be discoverable by, and shared between our chosen (and trusted) tools or vendors </li></ul><ul><li>We need a DHCP for identity, a distributed data space system for meshing data & identity </li></ul><ul><li>The technologies already exist, we simply need the demonstrations together :-) </li></ul>
  16. 16. The mission of DataPortability <ul><li>To put all existing technologies and initiatives in context to create a reference design for end-to-end data portability & accessibility (hopefully!) </li></ul><ul><li>To promote that design to the developer, vendor and end-user community </li></ul>
  17. 17. The phases of DataPortability <ul><li>Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation </li></ul><ul><li>Investigation / Research </li></ul><ul><li>Design / Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Evangelise </li></ul>
  18. 18. Using existing technologies, inventing no new ones
  19. 19. Other initiatives “near” DataPortability
  20. 20. Social networking fatigue <ul><li>How many general or niche SNSs are you willing to register and / or interact with? </li></ul><ul><li>People search engine and aggregation sites are now appearing to compensate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SocialURL – organise your online identities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PeekYou – matching web pages with their owners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spock – organising information around people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapleaf – reputation lookup and email search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wink – free people search engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FriendFeed – subscribe to all of your friends’ feeds </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Social network portability, reusability, and data accessibility <ul><li>Need distributed social networks and reusable live profiles (linked data URIs + FOAF) </li></ul><ul><li>Users may have many identities and sets of friends on different social networks, where each identity was created from scratch </li></ul><ul><li>Allow user to import existing profile and contacts, using a single global identity with different views (e.g. via FOAF, XFN / hCard, OpenID, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>See also: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Linked Data Helps! <ul><li>By using agreed-upon shared vocabularies and schemas to describe people, content objects and the connections that bind them all together , social media sites simply become hubs within the Giant Global Graph </li></ul><ul><li>Developers are already using Linked Data to augment the ways in which they create, reuse, and link profiles and content on social media sites (using FOAF, XFN / hCard, SIOC, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>In the other direction, object-centered social networks can serve as rich data sources for Linked Data applications </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Link Data Web for dummies <ul><li>Give everything you observe (data) an ID </li></ul><ul><li>Use HTTP URIs (URLs + string pattern) to create Data IDs </li></ul><ul><li>Use your Data IDs to link to Data elswhere (as you do with Web page URLs) </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>= Linked Data Web! </li></ul>* Sources: Text by Stefan Marti; Picture by Duncan Hull
  24. 24. FOAF (Friend-of-a-Friend) <ul><li>FOAF is an ontology for describing people and the relationships that exist between them </li></ul><ul><li>Can be integrated with any other vocabularies </li></ul><ul><li>Some services with FOAF exports: </li></ul><ul><li>People can also create their own FOAF document and link to it from their homepage </li></ul><ul><li>FOAF documents usually contain personal info, links to friends, and other related resources </li></ul>
  25. 25. Integrating social networks with FOAF for reuse Common formats, unique Data IDs (URIs) * Source: Sheila Kinsella, Applications of Social Network Analysis 2007
  26. 26. SIOC (Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities) <ul><li>A schema for representing Linkded Data Spaces comprised of: people, weblogs, bookmarks, photo albums, calendars, discussions, addressbooks, social networks etc.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aims to fully describe the data objects across data spaces connected via the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitates creation of new connections between people, places, events, weblogs, and other things (data/entities/objects) via the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplies creation and discovery of federated communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposes the Giant Global Graph of Linked Data on the Web! </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Quotes about SIOC <ul><li>“ I […] think the concept is HOT” – Robert Douglass, Drupal Developer </li></ul><ul><li>“ It just dawned on me that the burgeoning SIOC-o-sphere (online communities exporting and exposing content via SIOC Ontology) is actually: Blogosphere 2.0” – Kingsley Idehen, Founder and CEO of OpenLink Software </li></ul><ul><li>“ SIOC has the potential to become one of the foundational vocabularies that make Semantic Web applications useful” – Ivan Herman, W3C / ERCIM </li></ul><ul><li>“ A project that started back in 2000 called Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF) represents relationships between people, as well as basic contact details. SIOC does this for groups: it extends the FOAF idea to being able to talk about whole groups of people. I am excited about SIOC because you can use that information to determine trust, to let people in.” – Tim Berners-Lee, Creator of the World Wide Web </li></ul>
  28. 29. The SIOC RDF ontology (important terms)
  29. 30. SIOC and other ontologies
  30. 31. Using SIOC and FOAF to represent portable data
  31. 32. <ul><li>SIOC metadata exporters have been created for open-source / commercial discussion systems and popular Web 2.0 sites: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>b2evolution, Dotclear, Drupal, phpBB, WordPress, mailing lists, IRC, Twitter, Jaiku, aggregators, OpenLink Data Spaces, Talis Engage, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Easy-to-use APIs have been produced for writing your own SIOC applications in PHP, Ruby on Rails and Java </li></ul><ul><li>As well as nearly 20 academic papers about SIOC and a W3C member submission ( ), easy-to-read documentation and usage examples are available : </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SIOC aims to infect the Web infrastructure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During next upgrade cycle gigabytes of community data become available! </li></ul></ul>Getting traction for SIOC
  32. 33. SIOC in use (~50 implementations, applications)
  33. 34. <ul><li>We have lots of producers of SIOC data, but now we need to build more applications that can consume it, like this WordPress importer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just as WordPress can import blog entries from various blogging systems, the SIOC importer can import any discussion posts represented in SIOC (forum posts, mail messages, IRC chats) </li></ul></ul>
  34. 35. Porting social media contributions from data providers to import services
  35. 37. Join the DataPortability and SIOC projects! <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  36. 38. Ownership, control, freedom at