Linked Literature, Linked TV – Everything Looks like a Graph

Ben Fry in ‘Visualizing Data‘: Graphs can be a powerful way to represent relationships between data, but they are also a very abstract concept, which means that they run the danger of meaning something only to the creator of the graph. Often, simply showing the structure of the data says very little about what it actually […]

A Penny for your thoughts: New Year wishes from mechanical turkers

I wanted to learn more about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service (wikipedia), and perhaps also figure out how I feel about it. Named after a historical faked chess-playing machine, it uses the Web to allow people around the world to work on short low-pay ‘micro-tasks’. It’s a disturbing capitalist fantasy come true, echoing Frederick Taylor’s ‘Scientific […]

NoTube scenario: Facebooks groups and TV recommendation

Short version: If the Web knows I like a TV show, why can’t my TV be more useful? So I have just joined a Facebook group, “Spaced Appreciation Society“: Basic Info Type: Common Interest – Pets & Animals Description: If you’ve ever watched (and therefore loved) the TV series Spaced, then come and pay homage […]

Facebook problem statement

People want full ownership and control of their information so they can turn off access to it at any time. At the same time, people also want to be able to bring the information others have shared with them—like email addresses, phone numbers, photos and so on—to other services and grant those services access to […]

Google Data APIs (and partial YouTube) supporting OAuth

Building on last month’s announcement of OAuth for the Google Contacts API, this from Wei on the oauth list: Just want to let you know that we officially support OAuth for all Google Data APIs. See blog post: You’ll now be able to use standard OAuth libraries to write code that authenticates users to any […]

OpenSocial schema extraction: via Javascript to RDF/OWL

OpenSocial’s API reference describes a number of classes (‘Person’, ‘Name’, ‘Email’, ‘Phone’, ‘Url’, ‘Organization’, ‘Address’, ‘Message’, ‘Activity’, ‘MediaItem’, ‘Activity’, …), each of which has various properties whose values are either strings, references to instances of other classes, or enumerations. I’d like to make them usable beyond the confines of OpenSocial, so I’m making an RDF/OWL […]

Bruce Schneier: Our Data, Ourselves

Via Libby; Bruce Schneier on data: In the information age, we all have a data shadow. We leave data everywhere we go. It’s not just our bank accounts and stock portfolios, or our itemized bills, listing every credit card purchase and telephone call we make. It’s automatic road-toll collection systems, supermarket affinity cards, ATMs and […]

Opening and closing like flowers (social platform roundupathon)

Closing some tabs… Stephen Fry writing on ‘social network’ sites back in January (also in the Guardian): …what an irony! For what is this much-trumpeted social networking but an escape back into that world of the closed online service of 15 or 20 years ago? Is it part of some deep human instinct that we […]

Waving not Drowning? groups as buddylist filters

I’ve lately started writing up and prototyping around a use-case for the “Group” construct in FOAF and for medium-sized, partially private data aggregators like SparqlPress. I think we can do something interesting to deal with the social pressure and information load people are experiencing on sites like Flickr and Twitter. Often people have rather large […]

Open social networks: bring back Iran

Three years ago, we lost Iran from Internet community. I simplify somewhat, but forgivably. Many Iranian ISPs cut off access to blogs and social networking sites, on government order. At the time, Iran was one of the most active nations on Orkut; and Orkut was the network of choice, faster than the then-fading Friendster, but […]

Begin again

facebook grabThere was an old man named Michael Finnegan
He went fishing with a pinnegan
Caught a fish and dropped it in again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again.

Let me clear something up. Danny mentions a discussion with Tim O’Reilly about SemWeb themes.

Much as I generally agree with Danny, I’m reaching for a ten-foot bargepole on this one point:

While Facebook may have achieved pretty major adoption for their approach, it’s only very marginally useful because of their overly simplistic treatment of relationships.

Facebook, despite the trivia, the endless wars between the ninja zombies and the pirate vampires; despite being centralised, despite [insert grumble] is massively useful. Proof of that pudding: it is massively used. “Marginal” doesn’t come into it. The real question is: what happens next?