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RSS 1.0 channel for bookmark sharing

From: Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 00:28:17 +0000 (GMT)
To: www-annotation@w3.org
cc: rss-dev@egroups.com
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.21.0101300010040.732-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

(Sent to W3C's annotations and copied to RSS-DEV; not sure where best
to have this thread...)

Just a quick note to share an in-progress experiment. At ILRT we've been
looking at various forms of shared bookmark service, for
ratings/recommendations etc. Eventually some of this code might get
shrinkwrapped so others can run it; in the meantime here's a quick
suggestion for an interoperability experiment.

RSS (RDF Site Summary) is a data format for 'whats new' listings, news
feeds and the like. The RSS 1.0 spec (http://purl.org/rss/1.0/) 
uses RDF to allow various other kinds of data
(http://ilrt.org/discovery/2000/11/rss-query/ has an example) to
be mixed into these "channels" of data. RSS is popular in the weblogs
community, which is an application not a million miles away from
annotations, shared bookmarks etc. So there's some shared ground between
RSS and annotations that I'd like to explore as a practical 'semantic
web' testbed. 

A couple of weeks ago (thanks to Libby Miller) I acquired a personal
RSS feed corresponding to the shared bookmarks / recommendations I was
adding into our experimental RDF metadata server. Rather than go into
the details of that server (which is still being re-worked), it's enough
to say that the data goes in via a WWW browser "bookmarklet" (Javascript
fragment) and is exported using RSS 1.0. Bookmarklets are a neat
hack; Netscape, IE (and I think Opera) browsers allow bookmarks to
contain Javascript fragments that can solicit data from users when
selected. See http://www.bookmarlets.com/ for details. Basically, when I
browse an interesting site, I press a toolbar button in Netscape/IE,
enter a comment and category into a pop-up window, and submit that to a
database server for storage and subsequent access.

The RSS channel at...


...is a general feed for recent bookmarks I've made. Other URLs give
various subsets of the database (queries by date, topic etc.). There are
some glitches (the sorting is currently wrong; as is the URI assigned to
the channel) but you get the idea. While there are many ways one might
represent this sort of data in XML/RDF, this is one simple way that
seems to work.

What I'm thinking is that regardless of the various
bookmark/rating/annotation systems we're all using, a few of us could
likely generate data in RSS format for some interop testing. This would
work better for apps that use per-page annotations rather than
annotatiosn attached to sections of a doc, though perhaps the idea
extends to that too. RSS is interesting in that there are a growing
number of tools (see http://purl.org/rss/) that consume RSS data.

That's probably enough detail for now. There are a couple of links (with
URLs to long to mail reliably) from my home page ([1]) to RSS viewers
showing HTMLizations of the RSS feed mentioned above. What I'm hoping is
to get a bit more data to play with from othesr on this list, so we
could look at aggregating bookmark /recommendation feeds from multiple
people with shared or complementary interests.

Am I making any sense here? I could flesh out some details if anyone's
interested in making such a testbed happen...

all the best,


http://purl.org/net/danbri/  [1]
Received on Monday, 29 January 2001 19:30:26 UTC

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