3 years later …

Today was my last day of work at EDF R&D. I spend 3 years and 4 months there, during my PhD funding contract, exploring and implementing ways to expose Enterprise 2.0 to Semantic Web technologies, combining unified meta-data modeling with SIOC, machine-readable knowledge with Semantic Wikis, advanced tagging with MOAT, the whole data interlinked in a “semantic ecosystem” offering new browsing, integration and search features. Even if it was not always easy to combine short-term industrial goals with research objectives, I’m really happy getting the chance to work on a real use case with various problems to solve. I hope I showed that Semantic Web could be a smart solution to these problems and would like to thank anyone involved in the projet, especially my co-workers and apologize for speaking about triples, RDF, ontologies and SPARQL all day long !

Tomorrow, I’ll flight to Tenerife for ESWC. A busy (and interesting regarding the program) week that will start sunday morning by presenting some use-cases of FOAF and SIOC during Harry Halpin’s tutorial on GRDDL and social networks, and then switching between SemWiki and SFSW workshops on saturday. I’ll speak on a panel titled “Social Network Portability: Is the Semantic Web Ready?” on wednesday evening and also be in the poster session tuesday to present MOAT. Then, back to Paris to finish writing my thesis, keep presenting some of my work and hopefully start a new position soon. And yes, having some rest could also be an option. Later, maybe.

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SMOB en français

Un de mes tort sur ce blog est sans doute de ne pas publier assez en français. Heureusement certains s’en chargent, et plutôt bien. Voila donc 2 billets au sujet de SMOB, un premier par (l’inévitable ;-) ) Gautier, et un second de Nicolas accompagné d’un excellent screencast. D’autre part, sur l’initiative de Got et avec l’appui d’Eric, un serveur a été mis en place sur smob.websemantique.org. Plus d’excuse pour ne pas l’utiliser !

Au niveau de SMOB lui-même, pas eu trop le temps de coder récemment, mais les choses devraient s’accélérer courant Juin (j’ai donc bien lu ton billet). En attendant, je le présenterai lundi prochain à SFSW, avec un programme toujours aussi intéressant pour ceux qui veulent des exemples d’applications concrètes du WS. Quand à la conférence principale, elle s’annonce riche en événements et présentations de qualité. Et pour ceux qui veulent en savoir plus sur le programme, il est bien sur disponible en RDF… à vos requêtes !

SIOC-based microblogging

As John Breslin already detailed last week, we (Tuukka Hastrup, Uldis Bojars, John and myself) recently work on SMOB, a semantic microblogging architecture, that will be presented at next SFSW workshop, co-located with ESWC in Tenerife.

While there have been a lot of buzz recently regarding ways to provide open alternatives to Twitter, then fun thing is that we worked on this in last January while I visited DERI. Our main goal was to show how Semantic Web technologies could provide an open-platform for such way of publishing content, mainly using FOAF and SIOC. Moreover, one of our aim was also to demonstrate how such technologies can provide users a way to control, share and remix their data as they want, not depending on a third-party service, a goal also shared by the dataportability project. In that way, SMOB-published data really belongs to the user that wrote it. Indeed, while SMOB servers (which display a faceted view of agregated posts as you can see on the demo server) store data in their local triple-store, this information (i.e. each update) is hosted on the client side and available in RDF.

At the moment, the complete updates dataset is public, and can be browsed with any RDF browser as the picture below shows (with Tabulator) but we plan to introduce more advanced authentication and privacy issues, in which OpenID could have a role to play.


Users can parse it as any RDF data, mash-it up with other information, eg their FOAF profile (SMOB allows to re-use existing FOAF profile as the foaf:maker of each update), or any other RDF data. And most important, if a SMOB server closes, they still own their data.

Moreover, since SMOB content is SIOC-based, it becomes part of the SIOC-o-sphere, and could be merged with your other social media contributions (from any SIOC application) and discovered thanks to recent APIs and WordPress plug-in introduced by Sindice (automatic PTSW / Sindice pings will be soon in the code repository). This is one more advantage of getting a common semantics to model your data wherever they come from.


Finally, we just introduced in SMOB a way to publish not only to a dedicated server, but also to Twitter. So that you’ll get a real-time, self-hosted and long-life archive of your twits in RDF. Isn’t that cool ?


First workshop on Social Data on the Web at ISWC2008

As you may have already read, the 1st workshop on Social Data on the Web (SDoW2008) will be held at next ISWC, at the end of October in Karlshrue and I’m really glad to co-chair it with Uldis, John and Sergio.

If you work on a related field, either as a researcher, industrial or developer, you’re more than welcome to submit a paper, a poster or a demo until the 25th of July via easychair. More information about the topics and organization of the workshop it can be found on the SDoW2008 website.

While talking about the Social Web, the proceedings of the SAW2008 workshop that was held tuesday in Innsbruck will be online soon on CEUR-WS website (Vol. 333). Here are also the slides of our talk I gave here, and the one I gave in the main conference about another paper (that should be soon uploaded here).

Semantic Web talks in Innsbruck

I’ll present a paper co-written with Uldis Bojars, John Breslin and Stefan Decker – and with Dan Brickely’s valuable feedback – titled “Social Networks and Data Portability using Semantic Web technologies” on the 2nd Social Aspects on the Web workshop (SAW2008) next tuesday in Innsbruck. As you can guess, the talk will show how FOAF and SIOC can provide efficient and normalized ways to model social networks and user contributions on the Web and thus achieve (some of) the data portability goals. Uldis will also give a related talk on Friday at XTech in Dublin.

Some Semantic-Web related talks also occur in the main BIS conference, with some keynotes on this topic and various talks related to ontologies on monday afternoon, some of them also linking to Web 2.0 aspects as tagging and wikis. It should be interesting to see how the social semantic web (call it web n.0) is spread in organizations. I’ll also present here the use of a form-based Semantic Wiki in corporate environment. Think of it as “hidden semantics” or how to let people manage ontology instances and re-use it without any knowledge of RDF. BTW, the great talk by Denny Vrandečić about Semantic MediaWiki in the WWW2008 Dev-Track also showed how SMW could be used that way, with a nice example :-). Once again, I really enjoyed the experience of being there, meeting some of the people I knew only on the Web, listening to great talks (I especially liked Google’s keynote about cloud computing, querying and fuzzy-logic, Web 2.0 and learning , W3C SW track, Dev-track and SW panel, and of course the LDOW workshop) and presenting some of my works in front of such an audience.

Next steps, ESWC2008 and related workshops, IC, and of course, finish writing my PhD thesis… you were right Tom, it really takes a long time!