two months of foaf+ssl talks

For the past one and a half months I have been traveling through Europe giving talks on foaf+ssl, the RESTful authentication protocol for the Social Web. Here is a short summary of where I have been.

18 May 2009, Salzburg Research
On my way cycling from Fontainebleau to Vienna, I stopped by in Salzburg, Austria, where the offices of the organisers of the EU sponsored KIWI (Knowledge in a Wiki) project, which Sun is participating in, are located. I introduced the group there to foaf+ssl, and they are now working on an implementation for their award winning semantic wiki.
20 May 2009, Semantic Web Company
Right after arriving in Vienna, I met up with Andreas Blumauer, editor of the recently published Springer Book "Social Semantic Web". Hopefully my presentation will make its way in some form or another into the next edition :-). Andreas also gave me an overview of the powerful yet easy to use thesaurus management system named Pool Party, they are developing.
1 June 2009, European Semantic Web Conference, Heraklion
Ian Jacobi who had come to Crete for the occasion, helped me present the paper FOAF+SSL: RESTful Authentication for the Social Web in the SPOT track. The other papers presented in that track all fitted together very well, giving a very good overview of the topics that need to be covered in this space. I will be rereading them soon. The ESWC conference was also a great opportunity to do a number of quick one to one presentations by demoing it working on the iPhone. ( Sadly the latest OS release broke the SSL stack, making my iPhone so much less useful )
18 June, Vienna University of Technology
In Crete I met Christoph GrĂ¼n who helped organize a slot to present at the Institute of Software Technology & Interactive Systems. Christoph is working on Online Tourism web services, which would be a great use case for foaf+ssl. Imagine a group of people deciding to organize an outing on a tourism wiki site, where all members of the group would get access to that outing after a simple drag and drop of a foaf:Group URL onto the outing project console.... No account setup required.
23 June, Metalab Hacker's Club, Vienna
While in Vienna I gave a presentation at the Metalab, an open meeting space for hackers of all walks of life. As it happened a journalist from the well known French newspaper "Le Monde" happened to be present and wrote up an article "Les nouvelles tribus du Net" (now paying) on the lab, mentioning my presentation en passant.
2-3 July, Sun Microsystems Kiwi Meeting, Prague
The Kiwi group met in Prague for a couple of days to synchronize their work. After having won the best semantic web application prize at the European Semantic Web Conference in Crete, the mood was very positive. This was a good place to introduce the rest of the group to the potential of foaf+ssl, which is currently being implemented in Kiwi by Stefanie Stroka.
13 July, University of Leipzig
I spent a whole day with the excellent Agile Knowledge Engineering and Semantic Web team at the University of Leipzig. After an update on their latest work with DBPedia, Ontowiki, xOperator, ... I presented foaf+ssl. After lunch we then spent the afternoon on a very helpful hands on session. There are still enough rough edges in the different implementations of foaf+ssl that a bit of guidance can save a lot of time. End result, a few days later Sebastian Dietzold notified me that Philipp Frischmuth had written a first implementation available publicly at http://trunk.ontowiki.net/. During our session we also discovered a bug on http://foaf.me/, which was soon fixed.
15 July, University of Potsdam
Hagen organised a very well attended meeting at the University of Potsdam. The questions following the talk were very good, and showed a large interest. Sadly we did not have time for a hands on session, as my next meeting was just a few hours later. Hands on sessions are still very important, as they help turn a talk into an experience. It helps a lot that Melvin Carvalho enhanced foaf.me to make it very easy to create both a foaf file and a linked certificate, so with time these hands on sessions should be easier and shorter to do.
15 July, New Thinking Store, Berlin
I finished the day with a presentation at the New Thinking Store in Berlin, organized by Martin Schmidt. This was an opportunity again to present to Web 2.0 and more directly practical people.
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