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Re: Making RDF / LinkedData trivially browseable - thoughts?

From: Daniel O'Connor <daniel.oconnor@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 23:32:59 +0930
Message-ID: <106cc1200904040702t431e4d6h558e3c30802aabf4@mail.gmail.com>
To: Keith Alexander <k.j.w.alexander@gmail.com>
Cc: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil@kjernsmo.net>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
>> Tell your "regular web developer guy" that all he needs are the URIs for the
>>> thing he is concerned with, so he can resolve them, and then he can do a
>>> "Mash-up/Mesh-up" with the data he gets back to offer lots more data to
>>> his
>>> customers, from a very wide range of sites.
>> No one is doing that though!
I meant "no one is telling the regular web developer".

>> You aren't seeing a lot of the simple, easy tricks that come with data
>> published as linked data being talked about.
> It would be cool to see more of this kind of thing. I bet people on this
> list know lots of cool tricks and tips - can you suggest how they could get
> more exposure? What kind of thing do you think mainstream developers would
> be most interested in seeing?

Some good examples of what attracts developers

1) Shiny websites
They did a competition around government data and provided a few simple
APIs, put up a bit of $ behind it, as well as a promise of fame.

The important bits here are:

   - It was focused on one topic
   - It had good documentation around the APIs so that they were trivial to
   use in the language(s) of your choice
   - It had the web 2.0 look and feel of it (I don't know another way to put

The landing page of the linked data site works well here, but as soon as you
go off into the guides / tutorials section, it starts to lose it. The only
other ones which appear to have sufficient mainstream developer bling that
I've seen:

Knowee.org, the Foaf project site (when its up), Similie

It *sounds* trivial and unimportant, but unfortunately it isn't when you are
dealing with a generation with no attention span. If it doesn't look
interesting.... tl;dr

 2) Simple language specific HOWTO blogposts
That's my highest ranking blog post ever, because its (1) on topic (2)
something that most people get frustrated by (3) something not many people
know how to solve

Some good ones that could be done for this community:

   - How to link your Address data to Geonames in 5 easy steps (PHP,
   Geonames API, Google maps geocoding API, a quick talk about database
   - Cool url design
   - Modelling your data as RDF - where do you start? (What's the most
   important object / database table in your system? What's the thing most
   linkable to the linked data cloud?)
   - Tutorial: Using Geonames, ARC + SPARQL + google maps api to answer
   "What's the highest mountain next to my house".

3) Diggbait: Lists of 10
It hurts your mind to think of writing one, and probably irritates you to
read them; but articles along the lines of "10 ways to mash up your data"
which is really "how do I publish RDF"...

4) Community news
Summaries of what the linked data community is doing and why it might be of
interest to people.

That keeps those who aren't plugged in to every possible communication
medium in the loop a little.

5) Following community leaders.
If Tim Bernees Lee says "I'm doing project X", people in this community

The PHP development community has an overlap with the semantic web
community; but those members of the PHP community don't talk about the
semantic web too often. I'd wager if they did, a lot of more junior web
developers would be looking at and publishing RDFa.

Look at what's happening with Drupal and the efforts of Dries Buytaert - I'd
wager there's not a member of the drupal community that doesn't understand
RDFa at least in passing nowdays; and there would be a bunch of them in
there thinking "I wonder what steps I could take to publish large data

I can imagine this is true for other programming communities, and also true
for a lot of other communities with data management problems.
Received on Saturday, 4 April 2009 14:03:38 UTC

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