Category Archives: semantic web

Semantic Web technologies, ontologies, taxonomies, folksonomies, lightweight semantics, microformats

Semantic Web Technologies

This Fall 2008 semester at the University of Texas, I’m teaching a course on: Semantic Web Technologies

This course approaches understanding Semantic Web technologies from three perspectives:

  • Top-down, theoretical approaches to organizing semantic information including ontologies, taxonomies, knowledge representation and software agents.
  • Bottom-up approaches, sometimes called “emergent semantics” or “the lower case ‘S’ semantic web”, for understanding and creating networked information including XML-based solutions including RDF, XPath and RSS. Also included are smaller, informal systems for organizing Web information including tagging (social bookmarking), microformats and other specific markup and distribution systems.
  • Application approaches focusing on Web Services or “Web 2.0” functionality including distributed (client and server) application design, syndication, Application Programming Interfaces, remote databases and “mash-ups”.

Of course, we have a class blog too: Semantic Web Technologies Blog.

Rating, Voting & Ranking: Designing for Collaboration & Consensus at CHI 2007

I’m in San Jose, California presenting a Works-in-Progress paper at the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Computer-Human Interface (CHI) 2007 conference. I’m showing off some of the interface design issues related to encouraging valid, fluid participation for a community-based internet content filter we’re developing at the University of Texas at Austin called OpenChoice.

Here’s the abstract for the paper:

The OpenChoice system, currently in development, is an open source, open access community rating and filtering service that would improve upon the utility of currently available Web content filters. The goal of OpenChoice is to encourage community involvement in making filtering classification more accurate and to increase awareness in the current approaches to content filtering. The design challenge for OpenChoice is to find the best interfaces for encouraging easy participation amongst a community of users, be it for voting, rating or discussing Web page content. This work in progress reviews some initial designs while reviewing best practices and designs from popular Web portals and community sites.

I’m also making it available to download: Turnbull, Don (2007) Rating, Voting & Ranking: Designing for Collaboration & Consensus. Works-in-Progress Paper presented at the ACM SIGCHI Conference. San Jose, CA. May 2, 2007.

Nature says Happy (300th) Birthday to Linnaeus

The journal/magazine Nature has a special issue to celebrate the birthday of Linnaeus, who most think of as originating the idea of large-scale classification to understand the world and normalize scientific research.

Carl Linnaeus introduced the systematic classification upon which all subsequent natural history has been built. This Nature web focus brings together a range of material celebrating the tercentenary of his birth in 1707, including features on how the explosion of genetic data changes the way we look at taxonomy, and the conflict between professionals and amateurs when naming species. There are also commentaries by leading taxonomists on the future of their field, articles on Linnaeus’s global network of contacts and even his lost and lamented pet raccoon, original research on the origin of flowering plants and a review on speciation – the first of several such articles to be published this year, which will be added to the web focus over time along with other coverage.

The issue is behind a paywall. How would Linnaeus classify that?

Tagging 2.0 panel at SXSW2006 now a podcast

The Tagging 2.0 panel I organized at South by SouthWest 2006 in March is now a Tagging 2.0 podcast among the many SXSW 2006 podcasts you can download.

Some highlight quotes from the panel you really shouldn’t miss:

How can you pass up quips like that?

The Tagging 2.0 panel was one of the “highly-rated panels” this year, tied for first place with a number of other entertaining and informative panels, so check out their podcasts as they become available as well.

Call for Papers: WWW2006 Conference

New notice for participation at the 15th Annual World Wide Web conference in Edinburgh, Scotland (one of my favorite cities).

I will be a reviewer again this year in the Browsers and User Interface track, where there are usually a number of amazing systems and interfaces. Here’s some text describing the track:

The Browsers and User Interfaces track at WWW’2006 focuses on promoting novel research directions and providing a forum where researchers, theoreticians, and practitioners can introduce new approaches, paradigms, applications, share their knowledge and opinions about problems and solutions related to accessing and interacting with data , services, and other humans over the Web. We invite original papers describing both theoretical and experimental research including (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Browsers and user experience on mobile devices
  • Browser interoperability
  • Novel client-side applications
  • Multimodal interfaces, including speech interaction
  • Information visualization on the Web
  • Multilingual Web content design
  • Novel browsing and navigation paradigms
  • Web interaction with the real world, including robotics and sensor networks
  • Adaptive Web displays and Web personalization
  • Ubiquitous web access, shared displays, and wearable computing
  • Web usability and user experience
  • Web accessibility
  • Web-based collaboration and collaborative Web use
  • Web-logs and online journalism

Hope to see you there.

How to Leverage Solipsism @ SXSW

If you’re going to be at SXSW, come by and ask a good question while we talk about the good, the bad and the worse about
social computing systems design and use

Here’s the blurb:

Room 18A on Sunday, March 13th from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Monolithic, overarching imposed systems rarely provide full support for the range of use and users that these systems are intended to serve. Networked software should be smarter, taking advantage of users’ behaviors to evolve a system keenly adapted to actual use, not just intent. We are currently in a special moment, witnessing the development of systems that are beginning to demonstrate the power of this approach. Whether it is through passive tracking, such as purchase histories on Amazon, or explicit tagging of content, such as bookmarks on and photos on Flickr, websites are increasingly taking advantage of the aggregation of individual behavior to improve the utility, usability and desirability of their systems. Drawing on a range of perspectives, this session will address the intersection of the personal and global, the tensions that exist and the opportunities they afford.