Tuesday Apr 17, 2007

Microformat – the Roadmap to Semantic Web ?

Microformat – the Roadmap to Semantic Web ??

The Internet community really likes to idea and opportunities of Semantic technologies but are pretty reluctant to implement a fully fledged Semantic Web Infrastructure

Why ?

Lets look at the current Semantic Web perception

  • Semantic Web is complex

  • needs a lot of ontology work before you can start building something useful

  • needs a lot of base infrastructure (Triple store, RDF bus, Ontology Management etc.)

  • has no prove of scalability

  • What is the business case ???

  • etc.

While I agree with some of the arguments (e.g. complexity) I strongly believe that the Semantic Web has huge potential and
will revolutionize the Web by adding semantic context to future web applications.

But is there a way to start small and simple?

The answer is YES and the technology is called Microformat

Microformat are designed for humans first and machines second and are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. .
(See http://microformats.org/about for more details)

or in simple words: Microformat is a way to embed Semantics into XHMTL.

The advantages of Microformat are:

  • pre-defined vocabulary

  • very easy to implement ( It took us a couple of hours to add Microformat support to our CE 2.0 stack)

  • easy way to dynamically build mashup services based on Microformat

Microformat have a lot of momentum and gain rapid support from big companies


and last but not least there are already some “bridges” from Microformat to RDF



A special thanks to Jiri Kopsa who educated me a lot on Microformat!

Technorati Tags: web2.0 CE2.0 microformat semantic web

Monday Mar 26, 2007

Onestop- How to build a sustainable enterprise community model

Do you want to know the secret of creating and running successfully enterprise communities?

One of the most successful technical community within Sun is around Onestop. Over 300 subject matter experts are sharing their experience, best practices and lesson learned on a  single site called Onestop. It is the most popular and trusted technical website and 100%  driven by the community.

The Onestop team and authors have just started their blog on  http://blogs.sun.com/onestop/ to share how to build and sustain a global technical community -  from the field for the field  -

 Check it out!


Technorati Tags: web2.0 CE2.0

Wednesday Mar 07, 2007

Wiki's are dead - long live the Wiki community model


As part of our CE 2.0 project we have deployed a large Wiki for our technical community called CEpedia.
In just a few month it got very popular and the contributed content is nearly doubling every month.

So why are Wikis dead ?

Let's have a look at the history of the  Wiki phenomenon . It started in 1995!  as the WikiWikiWeb 
and in 2002 wikipedia, the most famous Wiki was born.

The main  characteristics of a Wiki are:

How it is implemented
Easy to contribute
any user can contribute/edit a wiki page
Easy to edit
Wiki markup language
Easy to structure
Easy to manage
versioning and easy  rollback

This looks all great but the technology is over 10 years old and the Internet technology has evolved quite dramatically.
It seems that some of the obvious advantages like "easy to edit" turns into the opposite direction AND we  might create a certain legacy to maintain Wiki markup and HTML!

An example - I had the pleasure to train some of our  management on how to use CEpedia and how to author a wiki page.

While it should be  not a problem for a technical person to use the Wiki markup language - for a non technical person it is a night mare!  Just try to explain  how to  create   a table in the Wiki markup language.....

Today you would use a simple WYSIWYG editor and publish it to your Wiki system.
This is a nice thought but we have not yet found a WYSIWYG editor for a mediawiki which can properly scope with Wiki & HTML markup...

and is this the right approach ? Should we really support various markup languages to create/maintain web content?

o.k - here are my predictions:

Objective Wiki
Web 2.0+ 
 Easy to contribute
any user can contribute/edit a wiki pageWiki or Web Content Management System (CMS) with ACL and ATOM feed
 Easy to editwiki markup language
HTML+ and ATOM feed
 Easy to structure
Tags, folksonomies, (Ontologies)
 Easy to manage
versioning & rollback

Wiki CMS, WEB CMS (like Drupal) & ATOM feed

Conclusion: The Wiki community model will stay - the technology will change  


Technorati Tags: web2.0 web_n+1 web3.0 CE2.0

Saturday Feb 17, 2007

Web 2.0 applied in an Enterprise – a huge business opportunity

Web 2.0 is a user centric phenomena . People can express themselves through blogs, videos, podcast etc. The community decides what is hot through rating,voting, references etc. At a recent presentation in Zurich I created the theme Web 2.0 : Exhibitionism and Mashup of the individual to summarize Web2.0.
BTW- the theme for Web 1.0 was : Have lunch or be lunch Thanks to Scott ..)

But what are the opportunities of Web 2.0 for an enterprise ?

How can a company take advantage of the social dynamics of Web 2.0 and turn it into a business value and business advantage ?

Every organization has a formal and informal structure. Usually an enterprise is focusing on the formal structures and processes and is not a able (or interested) to leverage the power of the informal structure. It is common knowledge that formal structure and processes are important to drive a business and business decisions but an important part of the decision making process is based on the informal information .

What if we could build a system were we could capture the formal and informal information and do a simple and dynamic Mashup service based on an enterprise search ?

This would open completely new ways on how an enterprise could implement a Social Capital based knowledge, skills and people resourcing system.

Use Case

Let's look at a generic use case:

Every employee has an easy and secure way to contribute his content (knowledge) within an enterprise. Anybody can easily find information and related information are automatically combined (mashup) with the corresponding data from the respective business processes . As more an employee participates (contribute,vote,reuse) , as more Social Value she/he can earn from the community. This Social Value is integrated in the enterprise compensation and career planning process and the employee is recognized and compensated when they actively participate.

Wouldn't this be great?

  • An Enterprise could answer the WIIFM (What is in it for me) question for each employee
    -> Employees see the benefits and rewards for active participation

  • The system would be a self driven Social Capital System based on community generated Social Values

      • Search results are influenced by the associated social value hence valuable information would bubble up
        -> I find the most valuable information quickly

      • Searching for people with a certain skills can be part of a standard search result
        -> Answer to: I need an IdM expert for a financial customer tomorrow in Boston

      • Self specified skills of a person are automatically validated by the community (similar to LinkedIn recommendation model)
        -> Wow - no skills assessment survey anymore, we have dynamic skills inventory in real time

      • Mashup of business data and community knowledge
        -> Show me all products/services/solutions I can propose to my customer based on a mashup of community knowledge and CRM data

      • Build a community based trust model
        ->Would you buy something from a seller in eBay with a bad feedback score
        (BTW, we might want to include the eBay seller feedback in our social value calculation model (Paul?) )

Web n+1: Participate or loose

How can you implement such a vision?

As part of our Customer Engineering CE2.0 project we are designing such a system with the theme Web n+1.
see here why we choose the Web n+1 theme

Enclosed are some initial lesson learned based on the  CE2.0 project
(Sun folks can go to the CE2.0 project

1) Social Capital Community Design

Define a Social Capital Value system for people/content and communities

-> At Sun we created a mathematical model called IC/Reuse metrics to measured the reuse of Intellectual Capital (Content)
To build a Social Value system we currently extending the IC/Reuse model to include People and Communities
see  (Knowledge Management meets Web 2.0)

2) Learn about Folksonomies to figure out how to add a social value measurement system into it

3) Learn about Semantic Web

Semantic Web allows to create machine readable relationships between the semantic of a word and the context.
Also it helps build a flexible data/relationship model between people/community and content
(check out Henry Story's blog )

4) Technology

Lower the barrier for participation by implementing a secure & ease-of-use technology infrastructure for the users

      • Enterprise-wide Security and IdM (Identity Management) infrastructure (BTW, Sun is the technology leader in IdM)

      • Services based architecture

        • Build (simple) re-usable services

      • Consistent and interactive user experience

        • AJAX based web widgets architecture

      • (Semantic) Tagging

        • Autotagging while content is loaded

        • Strong tag recommendation

        • integration of Enterprise Thesaurus (interface between business process and informal communities)

        • folksonomy support

        • Semantic Web support

      • Integrated Search

        • Search as a service

        • dynamic content and (semantic) meta data mashup

        • search results with dynamic community define taxonomies and folksonomies

Technorati Tags: web2.0 web_n+1 web3.0 CE2.0

Tuesday Feb 06, 2007

Search,Tagging and Wikis

Henry Story just published an interesting article about Search,Tagging and Wikis.
Great thoughts...

Technorati Tags:  


Thursday Feb 01, 2007

What's next after Web 2.0

I had the pleasure to speak at one of the important Swiss ICT events in Switzerland called Weissbuch 2007

Peter Hogenkamp did a fantastic presentation about  Web 2.0 ( I hope a can link to his presentation later today)

I talked about Web n+1 - What after Web 2.0. . The presentation is here.

Check it out and let me know what you think


Technorati Tags:  

Tuesday Jan 30, 2007

Web 2.0 meets Semantic Web

Last week we held a internal workshop in Zürich  to learn about:
  • Tagging strategies
  • Skills management
  • Semantic Web technologies and standards
  • Search technologies
  • Internal requirements from our PreSales -, Services - and Sun Learning Services Organization

Read what the participants blogged about this event

Bertold Meyer, Skills Map
Andreas Blumauer, Semantic Web School

Sun Participants:
Dave Levy, Principal Engineer,  GSS
Chris Gerhard, Principal Engineer Services
Henry Story, Semantic Web evangelist

or just look at the CE 2.0 Technorati tag for an aggregation of all content 

Thanks to all attendees  for the great participation and sharing experience!

For Sun folks you can listen to the internal podcast our visit our project page

Technorati Tags:


Saturday Jan 20, 2007

Take the Web 2.0 Test

I just came across the Web 2.0 validator site.

You can enter an URL and it analyzes the site against rules provided by the user community.

The rules can be defined by adding the validator site to http://del.icio.us/ and describe your rule in the notes field of the Tag.

Try it out!


Technorati Tags:  

Wednesday Jan 17, 2007

Bridge Web n+1 with the real world

Have you ever thought to bridge the Web n+1 virtual space with the real world ?

Now there is an answer : Nabaztag

A physical rabbit  reads your email, move its ears  when  an  SMS arrives and changes colors depending in  what  mood you are...

Maybe this is a real good  example of the emerging Web 3.0....  :-)
Technorati Tags:    

Monday Dec 11, 2006

Web n+1

I am getting tired on the fast changing release numbers changes like:

Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and created a new term Web n+1.

Web n+1 integrates all existing Web n+x promises but is always one step ahead



Web n+1


Tuesday Nov 14, 2006

Tags in analog and digital TV content

Today I attended the launch of Digisuisse Switzerland which is the successor  of the Interactive TV Consortium in Switzerland . The goal of the forum is to bring together content, technology and network providers around the digital multimedia world to exchange ideas and to do a lot of (relationship) networking. Sun is a founding member of the iTV Consortium and Digisuisse Switzerland. We had around 70 people attending . Great Job DigiSuisse team!!

 NZZ Format  talked about the trends & challenges  in digital content creation

Swiss Television  presented an overview of their  complete content production, delivery and archiving life cycle

Cablecom the largest cable provider in Switzerland just announced a massive price cut for their digital TV box
(Thanks to  Swisscom for launching  nation wide WebTV  in competition to Digital TV :-) )

Bakom talked about the status of the new Radio/TV regulation and also  mentioned that due to technology improvement  Switzerland can  now have  eight  Digital Radio  (DAB) licenses instead of three

And last but not least there were a great speech about the confusion of the endusers regarding all these new standards like HDTV, BlueRay, HDMI etc.....

What was most interesting to me was that all content producers and broadcasters spent a lot of time and effort to tag their content.

As example if you need a red Ferrari driving through Zurich scene, just type in the keyword "red ferrari, Zürich"  and the content which such a scene shows up...

What if this tagging databases would be public and we could merge it with the Web 2.0 folksonomy
or do a mashup with google earth or build a follksonomy IPG (interactive Programming Guide.).....   hmm.. could be very interesting

After the presentation I met Robert Weiss, one of the best known  Computer Experts in Switzerland and the publisher of the yearly IT  trend book  called  Weissbuch

Also I had dinner with the CEO from futureLAB, a small but very innovative software company in Switzerland. They just released a free  online tool  called  Tourist Remover which removes unwanted moving objects like tourists or passing cars from photos.Very cool  . Check it out ! http://www.snapmania.com/info/en/trm/


Monday Nov 06, 2006

Web 2.0 in person mash up event

I am organizing a kind of  Web 2.0 in person event.....[Read More]

About Enterprise 2.0,Community Equity, Semantic Web, Social Enterprise and how to Build Vibrant Communities


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