Updates from March, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Brian Kelly 10:10 am on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Lack of Facebook Integration a Barrier for Ping 

    A recent post in the Guardian technology blog provided the information that  “Shazam hopes Friends will spark a social revolution“. The post#’s byline summarised the article: “Users can now link their Shazam profile to Facebook and browse a real-time feed of the songs their friends tag“. Shazam are not the first music site to provide such a facility – as the post describes “Apple is onto a similar thing with its Ping social network“. But the article goes on to add that Apple’s approach “has received distinctly mixed reviews since its debut last year – not least because it does not integrate with Facebook at all“.

    Would a lack of Facebook integration provide a barrier to the deployment of social services provides on institutional Web sites, I wonder?

  • Brian Kelly 3:33 pm on March 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    WordPress RDFa Plugin 

    The WordPress software appears to be able to provide a rich platform for evaluating the potential of various new developments. On UKOLN’s WordPress platform we have recently installed a number of plugins which we will use to evaluate various aspects of Linked Data and related developments.

    Initially I looked at the wp-RDFa plugin which:

    wp-RDFa brings the Semantic Web to your WordPress blog. Currently this plugin supports FOAF and the Dublin Core.

    FOAF is Friend of a Friend, and can be used to relate your personal information to your blog. It can also be used to relate other users of your blog to you building up a semantic map of your relationships in the online world.

    wp-RDFa uses the Dublin Core markup to tag posts with the title, creator and date elements.

    However the initial experiment resulted in the title of each post being replicated, with a spurious “<:” being displayed on one blog but not on another. Perhaps the bug is related to the theme used? However disabling the “Enable inline dublin core elements” option removed this problem.

    Of more concern, however, seems to be the personal information which the FOAF file contains.  It includes the names of colleagues at UKOLN, perhaps those who have accounts on our blog server, but also other names of people who I do not think are associated with the blog (i.e. I don’t think have provided a comment). Hmm, what are the privacy implications of using a plugin such as this?

  • Brian Kelly 12:57 pm on March 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    How Will Facebook Questions Be Used? 

    A recent post on Mashable gave some reasons why “Why Facebook’s New Questions Tool Is Good for Brands & Businesses“. The post began:

    Brands and businesses are looking for ways to leverage Facebook’s recently unveiled Questions tool in ways that differ from what they’re already doing on Q&A sites such as Quora, Yahoo Answers and LocalMind.

    This new feature, which functions as a recommendation engine, was rolled out to all users on March 24. According to Ben Grossman, communication strategist for marketing agency Oxford Communications “It also presents a major opportunity for businesses to conduct market research and crowdsource in a far more elegant way than was previously possible“.

    Will institutions start to use this service to carry out market research, I wonder?

  • Brian Kelly 6:02 pm on March 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Facebook Graph API Explorer 

    The recent series of #fbdevlove tweets included a reference to the Facebook Graph API Explorer.  Once authenticated I can explore my Facebook social graph. Is Facebook no longer a walled garden?

  • Brian Kelly 5:12 pm on March 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Could Facebook Kill Off Web Sites? 

    A recent tweet from Karen Blakeman alerted me to a post which asked “Is Facebook Killing Off The Company Website?“. This post discussed evidence that Web traffic sot large commercial companies such as Coca Cola is dropping whilst traffic to their Facebook pages is growing. Hmm – might something similar happen to institutional Web sites, I wonder? Especially, as I suggested yesterday, if Facebook pages become part of a global Web of Linked Data.

  • Brian Kelly 5:31 pm on March 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Facebook and Linked Data 

    Yesterday I noticed some tweets from @gkob about a Facebook Developers Hack Day.  Following a tweet that:

    #linkeddata folks: forget all your RDF & Sparql, you’ll have to compete with Facebook’s Graph API, and that war is about developer love

    there were a number of responses from@kidehen, a Linked Date evangelist. How first comments was:

    @gkob Facebook (#FB) is just another Data Space plugged into the global #WWW Data Space. It’s all good re. #LinkedData. “AND” is good 🙂

    Followed by:

    @gkob #Facebook has been creating a massive#LinkedData hub since inception. It doesn’t have to be hardcore #RDF to be useful Linked Data.

    @kidehen admitted that:

    @gkob only issue with #Facebook is #privacy & their #socialweb silo mentality. I find what they do with #data pretty pragmatic. #LinkedData

    and concluded:

    @gkob #RDF != #LinkedData. What #Facebook#Microsoft #Google #Yahoo! etc.. r doing re. structured data (without #RDF) is quite valuable.

    Interesting discussion – and note that I’ve kept a copy of the discussion using Storify.

  • Brian Kelly 2:14 pm on March 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    “20,000 Downloads per Month” 

    An article entitled “”Empty Buckets or Pure Gold”   in the Times Higher Education (17 March 2011) describes differing positions on open access repositories.  It was interesting to note that Neil Jacobs comments on “considerable activity around some repositories” mentioned the University of Glasgow which “records 20,000 downloads per month“.  We hear criticisms of use of simple metrics such as downloads, but when it comes to evidence which is published in newspapers such figures are used.

  • Brian Kelly 6:52 pm on March 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Sharing Resources using Twitter 

    Via a tweet from @Markgr I came across a link to a presentation given at the recent Edu Guru Summit:

    Great info =>RT @MalloryWood: Here are my slides from my preso “Beyond Blogging” at the #edugurusummit http://slidesha.re/fYfYYt

    We are now seeing a lot of such tweets, with speakers at event freely sharing slides use in their talks. I think this is an example of  one aspect of the provision of open (educational?) resources – making the resources available online and promoting them.  Of course the slides themselves may not be licensed for reuse – and slides are not necessarily educational resources.  But I think seeing creators of a resource being willing to facilitate access to their resources is an important part of the process of openness.

  • Brian Kelly 10:03 am on March 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Amazon App Store 

    Earlier today Amazon announced the launch of their App Store for Android Phones.  I installed the app on my HTC Desire and tried to install my first app (Angry Birds, which is free for the day) – but it didn’t work as it seems that paying for a (free!) app is not yet available in the UK.

    Despite this minor glitch there do seem to be an increasing number of app stores being developed, starting with Apple’s iTunes App Store which was followed by their Macintosh App Store.  In addition to Amazon’s offering I read recently that Opera Opens Cross Platform Mobile App Store and, of course, Microsoft also intend to join in (with Apple complicating matters having claimed rights to the name ‘app store’).

    But if app stores take off as a simple way of installing new applications on mobile devices and desktop computers where will this leave universities?  If you wish students to install an app to access a VLE or student portal, will it have to be approved by the owner of th app store?  And if this approach isn’t taken, won’t installing apps appear cumbersome to end users?

  • Brian Kelly 8:31 pm on March 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Slideshare and oEmbed 

    The Slideshare.com blogrecently published a post about a WordPress plugin for embedding a SlideShare presentation. The post states that “The plugin uses oEmbed protocol to fetch the embed content from SlideShare“. What is oEmbed?  It seems that:

    oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites. The simple API allows a website to display embedded content (such as photos or videos) when a user posts a link to that resource, without having to parse the resource directly.

    It seems to be supported by a number of well-known companies including YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo.  But is it an “open standard”?  Note that further information is available from the following resources:

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