SMOB v2.0

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About 2 years ago, we designed SMOB, a Semantic Microblogging client and server application, in order to demonstrate how Semantic Web and vocabularies like FOAF and SIOC could be used to provide a more open microblogging experience.

While we did not improve is much since then, there have been a lot of work on it these last months (about 250 SVN commits since end of October, when we decided to revive it) and I’m happy to announce that SMOB v2.0 is now officilay out, after some internal beta-testing during the last weeks.

Overall, it has been a complete code rewriting and architecture redesign since the previous release. While the initial version relied on clients and servers to respectively publish and aggregate data, this new version is based on the concept of distributed and independent hubs that communicate each other to exchange data, being microblog posts as well as followers / following lists.

As you can guess, SMOB is entirely based on Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies. Then, each hub locally stores its data as native RDF (using ARC2, also providing a SPARQL endpoint per hub) and the communication between hubs is provided via SPARQL/Update over HTTP. In addition, each hub provides RDFa information about itself and the microblog posts it contains, using SIOC, FOAF and OPO as well as interlinking with the Linking Open Data cloud using MOAT and CommonTag. Regarding that later aspect, the UI has also been improved and the system now suggest URIs from DBpedia and Sindice (new wrappers can easily be added) as soon as you use any #tag when writing your posts, and the mappings between tags and URIs are remembered for further usage in other posts. Finally, new content is posted to Sindice to enable discovering and querying microblog posts across the (Semantic) Web.

For those who want to get a preview before installing their own hub, here are two screenshots of the interface, the first one about publishing data, where you can see #tag mappings, as well as broadcasting to Twitter.

And in that second one, you can see a list of posts, with links to RDF data, hashtags mapped to URIs, etc.

You can also have a look at my SMOB hub here.

SMOB v2.0 is available through its download page and is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL as its previous release. In addition, we are happy to provide commercial support for it, such as development of new features or custom integration of SMOB for enterprise microblogging purposes. For any enquiry about these commercial services, simply send an e-mail to at alexandre.passant[AT]deri.org, indicating [SMOB Support] in the subject line.

Oh, and finally, SMOB graduated and now got its own domain at http://smob.me. Enjoy Semantic Microblogging !

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