At the same time, in the Semantic Web community, the International Semantic Web Conference is coming up and the submission deadlines are around the corner (meaning Friday!). One of the new workshops that are going to take place is "Social Data on the Web", which I am really looking forward to! This workshop puts together my new interest of social media with the love of my research life: Semantic Web.
The last couple of days I started reading about Social Media, Data Portability and the Semantic web and came up on a lot of cool papers. I still of tons of stuff to read, but I am going to recommend one that stands out the most right now: "Data Portability with SIOC and FOAF" (slides of the presentation here). I immediately emailed all this stuff to @michellegreer because I new she was going to be at Social Media Camp Austin, and host a session on Data Portability. (Just this morning we talked about holding the session together, even though I am in Zurich right now. I was able to get my voice across for a couple of minutes, but looking forward to talking more about this at the next Semantic Web Austin meetup.)
Once you understand the interaction between the Semantic Web and Social Networks, you realize that the Semantic Web is THE solution to all this Data Portability problem.
Quoting from the paper:
To better enable a user's access to multiple sites, portability between social media sites is required in terms of (1) identication, personal profiles and friend networks and (2) user's content expressed on each site, whether it is about blog posts, pictures, bookmarks or any type of data. Such portability would allow users to easily exchange content between services, or merge and share their social network between various websites.So what is FOAF and SIOC?
Two Semantic Web projects SIOC (Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities) and FOAF (Friend of a Friend) can be combined to enable data portability between social media sites:If you read the paper and look at the slides, you will definitely realize how FOAF and SIOC can solve the Data Portability problem.
- The FOAF vocabulary allows us to represent people and their social networks, providing the social network component of data portability. It can be used in a combination with the the OpenID identity system.
- The SIOC vocabulary is an open format for expressing information about user-generated content in an interoperable way. It provides the content object component of data portability. The SIOC Types module can be used to further specify different types of Social Web / Web2.0 objects that we may want to describe.
I still have a lot more reading to do! But more importantly, I would like to know what common social media users think about the current problems of social network, social media, etc. I would really appreciate your comments.
In a couple of weeks, we will be hosting our next Semantic Web Austin meeting and this will be our first topic! So hopefully I can get a lot of feedback about problems the common users see in the social media world, and see if/how the Semantic Web can help.