Semantic tagging coming along

April 17, 2006 on 4:08 pm | In semweb, wikicompany, semanticweb, usability, tagging, rss | No Comments

Part of the transition from categories to semantic tags is now done on Wikicompany.

See the tags on these examples: Full Sail Brewing, VNU, Atos Origin

The tag browsing interface is still primitive, but because of the REST web service, a RSS feed with detailed info is available for each company, so many more details can be presented (logo, other tags, phone numbers, subsidiaries, etc).

Even mediawiki extensions can be used within the tag interface, as can be seen in the examples. This really shows the power of a good wiki platform, instead of a traditional CMS.

Semantic tagging todo's:

  • A commandline tool to extract the semantic relations from every article and dump these into the SMW tables.
  • The new company input form should register semantic annotations automatically.
  • A more usable interface for browsing tags, with dynamic filters
    • Better usability when searching and browsing tag-sets. Something like the ShopWiki page styles seems nice.
    • Move to REST URLs and services for the tag browse interface
    • Uniform multi-word tag input / output (not often needed, but still important)
    • A "related tags" function (based on the graph analyis of tags)
    • Flickr and delicious tag integration ("show the 5 most interesting pictures and links belonging to this set of tags"). Open web services are simply delicious.
    • Google maps rendering of companies per tag-set? I'm actually thinking to redo some of the geo interfaces on Wikicompany. Eg. provide a full-screen browse interface, in addition to the normal gmap view.

Another project I'm working on is a web crawler for creating company profiles from just a URL. Not an easy task, but very interesting work. Since the amount of user contributions is currently very low, this may provide a way to get many more free company profiles.

Webforms, semantic tagging, REST API

March 16, 2006 on 10:53 pm | In semweb, wikicompany, features, tagging, rest | No Comments

I’ve been busy with several Wikicompany developments.

There is now an “add a company profile” web form. The old-way to create a new article was a bit too complex for most users. So, if you have a company profile to share, please do so. There are still some usability issues (image uploads, AJAX suggests for tag inputs) which I need to fix.

I’ve for some time been pondering the use of tags instead of categories. Wikicompany is now migrating to the Web2.0 world of tagging, but with a twist. The tags get a semantical annotation (and are then also RDF compliant!).

Reasons for this ’switch’?

  • The category system is too strict and maintenance heavy.
Listen to this great presentation “What Time Does to Categories” by Clay Shirky to understand the underlying reasons for this statement.
  • Easier input system for users.
  • Better search and browse possibilities.
  • Better REST web service integration, needed for internal and external content syndication.

For more details look here.

Then finally I implemented a true REST web service API for Wikicompany. The API supports RSS2.0/ATOM/JSON/HTML output. With the RSS output now supporting all profile fields. At some point a “HTTP PUT” interface may also be setup if there is a need. Some VNU Examples:

Once the semantic tagging system is working more complex queries can be answered.

Feedback is welcome via this blog, the mailinglist, or send an email to:


February 13, 2006 on 11:08 pm | In wikicompany, features, tagging | No Comments

I hacked up a tagcloud extension for Wikicompany … just to be more web2.0 compliant -P . See the main page for an example.

The frequency of article visits are automatically extracted from the Apache webserver logs, after doing some log cleaning first. I was surprised to see the Asian company profiles being relatively popular.

There are probably some other good uses for presenting tagclouds on Wikicompany, but just to be clear I also think those tag-everything-and-more web2.0-wannabe sites are really lame.

- Jama Poulsen

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