Pay to see full names for 3rd degree connections on Linkedin

Icon for the FOAF (Friend of a Friend) project...
Image via Wikipedia

So the pricing model has changed at Linkedin.  You may have noticed in searching that you are coming across people whose full name is hidden.  That’s the deal now – if you want to see these names you pay for the privilege.

Not that surprising really that a private network should look to make money from its database.  Must feel now that they have sufficient footprint (heading for 100m members) to up the anti.  Potentially why would they not go the whole hog and charge everyone?

All of this brings us back to the discussion around open standards, open networks, FOAF, semantics, etc.  And indeed David Siegel’s ‘The Power of Pull’ and his idea about the ‘persoanal information locker’.

Interesting to see how this plays out.  Will Linkedin changes results in slower growth in the network – but greater revenues to the company?  Or will this create the opportunity for another player to up their gorwth rate in the marketplace?

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Ireland and linked open data

What is the timeline for the Irish government in terms of linked open data? When you read newspapers full of stories about TD expenses, FAS waste, the objectives of An Board Snip – surely publishing data in meaningful, useful formats is part of the way forward. And it must be just one element of being a smart economy. And promoting a level of transparency (and accountability) which we crave as a society.

When I read pieces like Government Should Do its Own Data Homework by Jeni Tennison it just reminds me of the progress we need to make here in Ireland. And we have the expertise – in the IT community and, in particular, in DERI.

Perhaps there is an initiative – but I do not remember reading anything about a timeline.

Google acquires metaweb (and therefore freebase)

Interesting and not that surprising. Semantics are here to stay. Freebase provides quality information which enables improved search across the web – and correlation of data on the web. Makes sense that the leading search company would want this type of data. Will be interesting to see how google leverages the data and what the attitude of contributors to freebase will be post the google acquisition. Obviously with google behind freebase there should be no problems in terms of expansion/development/ improved user responses. Presumably all of this will somehow feed into more targeted online advertising?

Explaining linked data, RDF and SPARQL

The guys at Talis have done a good job of evengelising linked data as a concept, the basic tools and their platform. If you are new to the space then the presentation by Rob Styles (44 mins) (from the Linked Data and Libraries event on 21st July 2010) is worth watching. In particular he does a good job of explaining what RDF is (a graph data model) – as against the different ways in which you can write it down e.g. Turtle, RDFa and RDF/XML. His whiz through SPARQL gives a useful intorduction to how RDF data can be queried.

Facebook and semantics

It’s already been quite a year on the semantic web front.  Clearly RDFa is a big winner.  And just when we thought we were getting a handle on the standards and protocols now we have RIF to learn.

When you see facebook adopting a version of RDFa then you can assume you are onto something.  And now we’ve seen this.

Understanding semantic web

Have to say that I think Hatem Mahmoud has done a great job in contextualising and explaining web 3.0/ semantic web in this presentation.

Takes you through web 1.0, through to 2.0 and on to 3.0.  Explains why web 3.0 is required and gives some current examples.

Worth spending 15 minutes – for anyone new to semantic web.

This 6 minute video is also an excellent introduction to the semantic web.

Semantically exciting?

ReadWriteWeb sets out its Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2009.

Was I excited?

On a personal level I have found a number of these products useful e.g. feedly.  And they do represent some interesting development and practical examples of various elements of the semantic toolbox.

But not that exciting.

Working with business executives looking to uderstand the relevance of semantic web to them not sure that this range of products will excite them.  In fact don’t think it will.

I am beginning to think that we should think of semantics in terms of a set of tools and standards designed to enable us to get more from the web.  Web 3.0 seems to me to suggest a new web – I don’t see that at present.

Three examples of semantic web being used in advertising

Three different examples recently reported of use of semantic web technologies to improve online advertising efforts.

OpenAmplify is a web service developed by Hapax that brings human understanding to content. Using patented Natural Language Processing technology, OpenAmplify reads and understands every word used in text. It identifies the significant topics, brands, people, perspectives, emotions, actions and timescales and presents the findings in an actionable XML structure.

NEW YORK – ad pepper media, the international online advertising network and semantic advertising technology solutions provider, launched the SiteScreen for Agencies platform, enabling advertising agencies to apply its ground-breaking SiteScreen semantic brand protection technology across their entire range of online media buys to effectively prevent ad misplacements.

Read more: http://www.adoperationsonline.com/2009/11/12/ad-pepper-media-launches-sitescreen-for-agencies/#ixzz0XL2vwtcR

Jennifer Zaino
SemanticWeb.com Contributor

In Italy, Quattroruote is a leading online magazine for car aficionados and buyers, with its reputation built on testing and evaluating models and its own blue book-like price estimates for vehicles. Now it’s a leading-edge user of semantic web technology, too.

It has deployed Expert System’s Cogito semantic solution to help add value to user searches for used cars in its portal to the world of classified car sales.