Over the weekend I opened the doors to Planet Semantic Focus, our Semantic Web buzz aggregator! In a nutshell, PSF makes it easy for you to keep tabs on what's going within the Semantic Web community. In its current version (beta) the system is tracking blog posts from various sources and bloggers.

Here are a few features to expect in the near future as PSF continues to aggregate from its sources:

  • Community members will be able to mark a story as off-topic, non-English, and possibly several other actions, with an "Action button" for each item.
  • Items will be place into a categorization structure, making it possible to browse items based on topic
  • The current site search will be extended to allow searching through items on Planet Semantic Focus
  • Tags and categories will be scraped from blog entries, feeds, and other sources to assist with categorization
  • Community members will be able to choose tags for items to help increase their findability
  • Each item will have a place for community members to add comments. These comments will be exposed with SIOC, and I'll be experimenting will merging comments between the source and Planet Semantic Focus to complete the conversation

Those are just to name a few. I'm also debating the usefulness of a rating system (too Digg like?). The action button is going to be an important feature because it allows users to cleanse the archives of anything not related to the Semantic Web, and properly categorize posts in other languages (I think the latter can be done automatically in the future).

The feature I'm most excited to work on will be the comments. I'm interested to see if we can merge the comments about a single item into one place, and then allow the entire conversation to be exposed for others to get in on it. This would bridge the conversational gap between disparate sources talking about the same item (blog entries are usually the item in question here, but an image on Flickr is another example of an item that gets commented).

As I've said in the past, blog entries are not the only thing Planet Semantic Focus will be aggregating. If it's truly to become the aggregator of Semantic Web buzz then other sources and mediums will need to be tapped. I'm currently working on adapting the following sources:

  • Blog aggregators: Sites like Technorati
  • Bookmarking services: Del.icio.us, Ma.gnolia, etc
  • Corporate blogs and press releases
  • Social media: Digg, Reddit, Slashdot, DZone, etc
  • Image sites: Flickr, Photobucket

The challenge will be to find a way to organize all of that information. There's a big difference between a blog post, a bookmark, and a picture. Digg and Google now integrate other forms of media in their normal search results, so I may emulate their way of doing things. I'm not big on emulation, but if it works it works.

Everything that gets added to Planet Semantic Focus is made available through the RSS feed, so you can keep up to date through your favorite RSS reader as well! I'm looking for feedback on what can be improved and who-wants-to-see-what in the upcoming releases. Simply put, if you've got ideas, I want to hear them.

About the author

James Simmons

It's my goal to help bring about the Semantic Web. I also like to explore related topics like natural language processing, information retrieval, and web evolution. I'm the primary author of Semantic Focus and I'm currently working on several Semantic Web projects.

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