Monthly Archives: February 2004

AllConsuming Reading Lists in RDF

After playing with and zool’s RDF port of their API I wondered what other services I could link to from my FOAF.
Having spent a happy hour or so in Waterstones at the weekend purchasing some extra goodies to top up my already bulging bookshelves it dawned on me: has a REST interface so it should be a snap to create an RDF version of Erik’s API using some XSLT.
Here’s some notes on my first attempt at transforming the current reading list.

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Listen To Me

In response to a thread on rdfweb-dev earlier this week I created a wiki page for capturing FOAF Application Ideas. The idea being to capture various application suggestions, no matter how detailed, in a central place so that the creativity doesn’t get lost in the mailing list or buried in the #foaf chat logs.
It was also a prompt for myself to write up a few of the ideas that I’ve chatted about on IRC or had circulating around my head over the last few months.
One of these is something I’ve been calling “FOAF Secretary”. It’s an application that borrows some ideas from Edd’s work (foafbot, FOAF Dashboard integration) but adds a few twists.

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Semantic Integration

Funny how terms just seem to emerge out of no-where isn’t it? I came across the the term Semantic Integration the other day, via this posting from Dare Obasanjo: Semantic Integration and XML. Since then I keep tripping over it.
Basically semantic integration seems to involve using RDF/OWL to define mappings between XML vocabularies.

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FOAF Activity

Lots of interesting FOAF activity lately, seemingly spurred on by the ETech presentations. Danny has already blogged pointers to the Guardian coverage and the videos of the presentations.
Elsewhere I see that flickr now supports FOAF through it’s profile service. I’ve not looked at the site since I signed up and played a few days ago, probably time to dive back in again. There are some interesting services springing up.
The Trust and Reputation in Web-based Social Networks project deserves your support. Part of Jennifer Golbeck’s dissertation the intention is to capture trust metrics from people’s FOAF files to generate some views of the trust relationships. There are examples of how to hand-code the trust statements in your FOAF description. Or you could use the Trust-O-Matic.
While you’re editing your FOAF description you might want to read through Christopher Allen’s Hand-crafting my FOAF article which includes some good pointers on generating your FOAF description. It’s worth dusting off your self-description to make sure you’re using the latest terms, do it now to avoid being pestered!

I’ve been meaning to take a look at for a while now as my bookmarks have (once again) become unwieldy and have been increasingly frustrated about having stuff bookmarked “to read” at work but not at home.
Prompted by zool’s in RDF posting I decided to sign-up and have a play. My first impressions are that it’s really cool, and I’ve quickly decided to switch to using it as my main bookmark manager. You can see the few that I’ve added already.
I really like the fact that I can subscribe to particular topics and people using the RSS feeds provided. And any service that doesn’t appropriate my data, allowing me to export it in various ways gets a big thumbs up from me.
Incidentally if you want to point to your RSS feed from your FOAF description, then you can do so like this, being sure to amend the details where appropriate:

<foaf:Person rdf:nodeID="me">
<foaf:name>Leigh Dodds</foaf:name>
<rss:channel rdfs:about="">
<foaf:maker rdf:nodeID="me"/>

I’m currently debating building a local RDF store containing my bookmark related data, probably via zool’s RDF version of the API to pick up any additional context it exposes. In fact I can feel another mini-project looming already…
If you’ve not used yet then take a look. It’s tasty!

Get Your FOAF On: Events

Been to any good gigs lately? Why not record this additional information in your FOAF description?
Continuing the Get Your FOAF On series I’ll show you how to describe your attendance at an event, with some specific notes on conference attendance.

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Automatic Relationship Clustering

social software: automatic relationship clustering is a very interesting article over on d2r. It discusses using graph clustering techniques to identify groups within a social network. Diego suggests that adapting this to use FOAF ought to be straight-forward.
As I noted in my critique of XFN plain old foaf:knows is a fairly limited relationship. It’s be more interesting to discover other kinds of relationships based on event attendance, collaboration, common interests, etc. This technique ought to be applicable to that kind of exploration as it deals only with nodes and edges; it’s just a matter of presenting the right nodes and edges to the algorithm.

Get Your FOAF On: Projects

This is the second article in the “Get Your FOAF On” series which provides some short overview of how to use various FOAF features. In this edition we’ll look at the FOAF vocabulary elements for describing project as well as stating your involvement.

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Get Your FOAF On

This is the first in a series of short articles showcasing some of the capabilities of the FOAF and related vocabularies.
The intention is to provide enough detail to show the expressive power of the existing properties and how they can be usefully mixed with other vocabularies. However I want to keep these examples simple enough that people can use them as a template for hand-crafting their own FOAF files.

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Using FOAF to Support Community Building

Along with my co-author, Brian Kelly, I’ve had a paper accepted for the IADIS 2004 – Web Based Communities conference. The paper discusses the role of FOAF and the Semantic Web in supporting community building, particularly at conferences. The HTML version of the paper is now online.
We’re intending to generate as much data as possible that describes conferences, their speakers and particularly their attendees. Coupled with applications to visualise and explore the data, we’re hoping that it will further showcase the role of FOAF in supporting community building and social networking.

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