Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Twine: Experience the "Semantic" Web

I just put down my latest issue of Wired Magazine last night after reading the latest and greatest and the wired and tired. One new service stood out to me and so I spent some time exploring it. It is called Twine. Twine allows you to post links and topics into your collection, but then using their semantic system, brings you related topics and links to create an association -based expanded collection. The service also combines the social referral system so you can email recommendations to others. Wired magazine described it as being intuitive and helping to sort out and group your links by topics - steering us away from the long "My Favorites" list of bookmarks that we often have to sort through and organize. The more you use Twine, the more it learns your topics of interest and topical organization system so it can contribute and organize it for you. You can create your own tags for information so they network within your collection, but also network for the larger community. It sounds very dynamic.

Twine takes the social bookmarking platform a step further. It actually adds a semantic feature to the html - well, actually it is a form called RDF -Resource Description Framework language.
What RDF does, in layman terms -as far as I can figure without a deeper study - is put three-part statements or "tuples" in the form of a subject, predicate and object, which can be about a particular person, object, tag, note or video, etc.
Each of these items has their own RDF tuple to describe it. Then these tuples intertwine and network through common semantic identifiers made up from each RDF. The site even offers an optional view of these networks called RDF Gravity which is a visualization tool showing a graphic representation of an item and its network of RDF links. It looks much like an idea web or mind map - Brian Friedlander's favorite tool on his Assistivetek Blog.

Okay, enough "geek-speak". Here is an interesting quote from the Twine site on the Semantic Web:

"As Tim Berners-Lee and others have described it, the Semantic Web creates a web of data that allows computers to find, extract, share, re-use information, and potentially even reason with it. Semantic content can be embedded in web pages, published from databases, and gathered into online repositories. Most important, semantic data itself contains “meta-information” so that other services are able to make sense of it. For example, the Semantic Web uses markup not only to indicate how something should be rendered, but also to express content (e.g. the authorship, title, and date of an article).
The Semantic Web is the next step in the evolution of the Internet. But making this technology meaningful and accessible to everyday users is where Twine comes in. Twine is an application that helps people organize, share and discover information around their interests. And while users certainly don’t need to understand the Semantic Web in order to appreciate Twine, several technologies are hard at work behind the scenes of its simple user interface."

Twine is still in its beta phase, but you are invited to register to be a part of the testing use if you are interested. You can register on their home page. There are so many services out there that are putting a new spin on bookmarking and the organization of information. I am excited about the potential of this one.

All the best to you!


1 comment:

Kate said...

You have been tagged for a meme. www.teachinglearnerswithmultipleneeds.blogspot.com