[uf-discuss] Hello / Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC)

David Janes -- BlogMatrix davidjanes at blogmatrix.com
Mon Nov 7 07:45:45 PST 2005

Hi John,

You may want to have a look at the work we've done on hAtom [1], a 
microformat (in the progess of being developed) for describing blog 
posts and other content which can be syndicated.

Following the microformat philosophy, we've derived most of our 
terminology from an existing well specified source, namable Atom [2]. 
Thus, we talk about Entrys [3] rather than Posts, Feeds rather than 
Forums, Entry Authors rather than User acting in a Role; obviously and 
fortunately, there appears to be a relatively straight forward translation.

Also following the microformat philosophy, we're going to encourage use 
of <blockquote> and <q> with the "cite" attribute [4] to refer to 
"linked discussions" from other weblogs. Because hAtom strongly defines 
the concept "bookmark" [5] -- the best URI for a post -- discovering 
matches between posts for threading purposes is a matter of byte 

hAtom is designed to slot into existing weblogs rather than be overly 
prescriptive on how weblogs and their entries need be structured, 
especially from a presentation point of view. This is backed by a 
moderately comprehensive survey of blog posts (forum entries and media 
pages) as they've been done in the wild [6][7].

Regards, etc...
David Janes

[1] http://microformats.org/wiki/hatom
[2] http://atomenabled.org/
[3] I know how to spell, really!
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/text.html#h-9.2.2
[5] http://microformats.org/wiki/hatom#Entry_Permalink
[6] http://microformats.org/wiki/blog-post-examples
[7] http://microformats.org/wiki/blog-post-brainstorming

John Breslin wrote:
> Hi all -
> I've just joined the list.  My name is John and I'm a researcher in the 
> area of the Semantic Web and social software in DERI Galway, Ireland.
> I met Ryan King in July, and talked about our SIOC 
> (Semantically-Interconnected Online Communities) project and connections 
> to Microformats.  Basically, what SIOC is is an open specification for 
> describing communities using online discussion forums or blogs, leading 
> to what some may term "distributed conversations".  At the moment, 
> online communities are islands that are not interlinked, and the SIOC 
> ontology has been proposed to not only link these communities but to 
> leverage data in ways that were previously unknown.
> I'd be interested in hearing how you think SIOC could be represented 
> using new / existing Microformats.  For example, I think using 
> rel="sioc:reply_of/has_reply" (similar to the rel="tag" from Technorati) 
> in HTML would be a useful way to connect discussion posts between blogs, 
> forums, mailing lists etc. as trackbacks at the moment are often not 
> explicitly defined in both directions and are also limited to blogs.  
> Another example is that using rel="sioc:has_container" in posts would be 
> a useful way to create a distributed discussion channel across existing 
> discussion media.
> The initial version of our SIOC specification has been drafted.  It can 
> be used in on its own (having a complete set of terms) or in conjunction 
> with other RDF formats such as RSS 1.  In terms of producing metadata, 
> we've started with SIOC exporters for open-source discussion systems 
> such as WordPress and Drupal / CivicSpace, and more are on the way.  
> We're also currently engaged in better aligning SIOC with FOAF (Hi 
> danbri!) as there are some redundant / duplicate terms in SIOC.
> More info is available from:
> http://rdfs.org/sioc/
> While there are many (useful) classes and properties in SIOC, it can 
> essentially be boiled down to: Users create Posts that are contained in 
> Forums that are hosted on Sites, e.g.
>   Site -> host_of -> Forum -> container_of -> Post -> has_creator -> User
> Posts have reply Posts, and Forums can be parents of other Forums.
> Looking forward to your feedback,
> Thanks,
> John.

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