StYLiD presented in the Japanese Business Model Society

I got an opportunity to present my paper titled “StYLiD: Structured Information Sharing with User-defined Concepts” in the annual conference of Japanese Business Model Society (Biz-model 2008) held at the university of Tokyo, October 11, 2008. Thanks to assoc. prof. Yutaka Matsuo for organizing the session on “Web technology and business models”. My presentation was special because it was the only presentation in English in the conference :-P. However, the audience seemed to be quite interested and I received some important questions, including some in Japanese that were translated to me in English 🙂

It would be interesting to explore business models or practical applications for StYLiD and receive suggestions from the business community in the future as well. It would be better to serve applications to targeted groups who are really in need rather than trying hard to motivate general people to contribute.

Here are my paper and presentation slides.


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Presenting the social Semantic Web to Nepali Engineers in Japan

Yesterday I presented my paper titled “Information Sharing on the Social Semantic Web” in the Second NEA-JC Workshop on Current and Future Technologies. NEA-JC stands for Nepal Engineers’ Association – Japan Chapter. I made a general introduction to the social web and the Semantic Web, with the general audience from all backgrounds in mind. The paper has been written for non-technical audience. I am glad to see the interest shown by all in this area.

In general people understand what is the social web as there are many example sites many of them are actually using today. However, people find it hard to imagine what the Semantic Web is really like. There are rarely any sites that ordinary people are really using that could be used to cite examples of Semantic Web technologies. People are not satisfied by just understanding the vision and principles of the Semantic Web. People want to see the Semantic Web but its still hard to show to non-technical people.

I hope in the near future we will also have enough Semantic Web sites, just like the social or Web 2.0 sites today, so that people really see, understand and benefit from the Semantic Web. I feel that day will come soon with the social Semantic web, rather than pure Semantic Web technologies only. The social Semantic Web can be as common as the social web today if the social web community and the Semantic Web community work in cooperation.

Below are the links for the PDF and presentation slides.



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Enticing Users to Contribute in User Driven Systems

MediaShift Idea Lab . Ensuring Content in User Driven Conversations

A user-driven system does not have value unless users contribute contents. It is good news that 80-20 rule is observed in this case (it is enough to have 20% of the users as active contributors and rest 80% can be passive readers). However, it is very difficult to entice this 20% users. It is not enough to have an easy-to-use interface to ensure that users will contribute – users simply don’t care.  The blog post mentions some important tactics to deal with this.

It is even more difficult to entice users into contributing structured data. The associated cost is higher than that for unstructured contents. So the benefit also has to be much greater. We need more tactics for enticing users to contribute structured data.

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GroupSwim: Social collaboration for enterprises

GroupSwim: SaaS-Style Collaboration – ReadWriteWeb

GroupSwim is a new Enterprise 2.0 social collaboration platform. The semantic application makes searching different types of things easy. Semantic technologies can offer powerful applications for enterprises and the use of social platform keeps things easy without any training required. Saves cost 😉

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Metaweb’s Freebase Now 60% Larger Than English Wikipedia – ReadWriteWeb

Metawebs Freebase Now 60% Larger Than English Wikipedia – ReadWriteWeb

Wow! that’s impressive. Freebase is really growing into a huge machine readable database of the world’s knowledge. Freebase is growing rapidly because bulk uploads are possible and scrapers are automatically feeding data into it. It will be interesting to see other serious applications besides Powerset making use of Freebase data. However, it is true that the interface is still complicated for the ordinary human users. Wikipedia is far simpler, user friendly and popular. Moreover, entering data into Freebase is not so flexible due to the strict data types required. Users may not always have perfect data to enter. That is why I intend to keep StYLiD interface simple and flexible for input. It is not at all intended to be another world’s database. Rather it is intended to be a simple platform to enable ordinary users to share a wide variety of structured data.

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Linked Data Shopping List

ShoppingList – MediaWiki

The Linked Data community is really gaining high momentum with effective campaigns. The campaigns seem to be increasing aggressively now with a wish list for possible Linked Data sources.

List on this page sites/datasets that you want to see published as Linked Data. This list may form the basis for some campaign/action to encourage these data publishers to embrace Linked Data.

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Microsoft Acquires Powerset

Confirmed: Microsoft Acquires Powerset – ReadWriteWeb

The software giant has finally acquired Powerset. I hope the technology of Powerset will be expanded to span the entire web instead of just Wikipedia which is the case now. It will be interesting to see how effective that will be compared to keyword and page rank based robust technology of Google. It is important that giants like Microsoft and Google demonstrate semantic applications rather than conservatively sticking to simple keyword based technologies. However, I am not sure if natural language querying will be more effective and appealing than keyword search. I think it is much easier to do keyword queries than typing in full questions.

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