Real-time social networking services such as Twitter provide compelling use cases for Semantic Web technologies. Last summer at SemTech, I gave a talk with examples of real-time semantic Twitter feeds powered by SPARQL and Twitter Annotations. While Annotations have not yet been released, they’re not the only way to add SemWeb-friendly structure to social data. The International Semantic Web Conference is a case in point. A reasonable combination of the ISWC 2010 Conference Corpus data assembled by Jie Bao and others, tweet metadata such as author and timestamp, and embedded nanosyntax (that is, hashtags), provide enough structure for useful semantic filtering. To illustrate, I present a general-purpose Web widget which grabs these filtered streams from a generic SPARQL endpoint. Of course, the endpoint needs to expose microblog data modeled in SIOC and FOAF. When applied to the ISWC data, the widget provides real-time views of Twitter conversations which make good use of the background knowledge we have about the conference. So now,
This year at ISWC, when we worked on the metadata, we have a Data Consuming task force to develop tools that can browse/visualize the data many different ways, e.g., faceted browser, filter browser and mobile browser.
As soon as we have the basic dataset published, we immediately get feedback from people on off-the-shelf tools that can work with the data. The list is quickly growing. I collected the screen shots of some working instances (including tools the metadata committee has built) in a slides. I have no doubt that the number “15″ will be changed when the main conference begins …. in 2.5 hours! So expect some updates very quick.
What strikes me is that the number and diversity of data browsers currently available, and many of them are clearly reaching the level of maturity for non-expert users to explore. That was not the case even one year ago. So much has been changed for the Semantic Web in 2010!
At ISWC 2010, there are several on-going efforts to leverage Twitter data. Some ones that I’m aware of are:
Joshua Shinavier has helped to build a triple store (powered by AllegroGraph) that contains tweets related to the conference, along with basic ISWC metadata. Here is an example of SPARQLing with the triple store (details about tweets with tag #iswc2010 and #iswc). More examples and guide on how to use the triple store will be out soon.
Marian Dörk helped us to visualize tweets at ISWC. You can see the relative traffic by time, the distribution of buzz words at the conference, and who is twittering about what. Marian is looking into interviewing our attendees for the tool – if you have comment, let him (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me know (email@example.com)
To be continued.