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"So I have a FOAF... now what? "

From: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 10:08:54 +0100
Message-ID: <1f2ed5cd0702270108s53fad6c2pf0483d7076590ffe@mail.gmail.com>
To: rdfweb-dev <rdfweb-dev@vapours.rdfweb.org>, "W3C SWEO IG" <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>, "Linking Open Data" <linking-open-data@simile.mit.edu>, mark@markwoodman.com

How would you answer that question?

I just had a quick go (pasted below) but I know I've missed plenty of
tools, probably quite a few ideas too. Bonus points for suggestions
that would work for non-geeks.


(blogged at : http://dannyayers.com/2007/02/27/so-i-have-a-foaf )

Via email, Mark Woodman asks a good question, I don't think Mark will
mind if I publish it here (better chance of getting an answer) -

    In the process of getting an OpenID, I got a FOAF for free.

    So it is at all useful to an average geek, or even an
above-average one?  Do I have to wait for some critical mass somewhere
of FOAFiness before it has a good purpose?

There's plenty of FOAF out there now, and although a lot of it's
minimal I don't think "wait for critical mass" is a fair response any
more. But there certainly aren't a huge number of tools that use FOAF
transparently, so at least average geekiness will help. I'll make a
start here, any more suggestions of what can be done with FOAF now

* Associate it with your homepage blog

Ok, this is a dull deployment thing that doesn't offer any immediate
benefit, but for this kind of data to be generally useful it needs to
be linked in where other people can find it. FOAF Autodiscovery (a
one-liner) is the usual method. There's a bookmarklet that can be used
to check its visibility. Another good use would be to use it as source
data for your hCard (maybe along the lines of this), and thus get the
advantage of whatever tools the microformats folks come up with (see
also: ConverterFromRdf).

* Explore your neighbourhood

A FOAF Profile can make a good starting point for Semantic Web
explorations with tools like these:

    * FOAF Explorer
    * Tabulator
    * Disco Hyperdata Browser

* Scutter your neighbourhood

Into full-on geekdom already. Use a tool like Slug to aggregate data
of your friends, and of their friends... This in itself is fun, but
doesn't by itself offer anything useful.

* Query your neighbourhood

Ok, take the data from the scutter, put it in a SPARQL query engine
and ask it what you like. It is possible to bypass the scutter stage
somewhat and query the Web directly with tools like the Semantic
Client Library.

* Visualise your neighbourhood

Load the data into a tool like SIMILE's Welkin to get a boingy graph
view, or perhaps more usefully into a Semantic Bank (or Longwell).

* See what you neighbourhood is interested in

Use the scuttered FOAF as a feedlist for Venus or Chumpalogica.

That's all I can think of for now. Mark's recently started TechBrew, a
site for news and how-tos. Maybe if the list above can be expanded a
little, and a few examples added he might be willing to publish it
over there.


Received on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 09:09:06 UTC

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