There are a few plugins that are useful and easy to use on your WordPress blog. I use them and feel that none of us have any excuse to not get involved in the semantic web. Often the reason for not bothering has been time and complexity. Honestly, all you have to do is install and leave it alone. Now how hard is that?
Why should you do it? If you want to get involved in helping the web develop and learning as it does so, this is as good a place as any to start. We’ll begin by making sure that we all know what we mean when we’re talking about URI.
URI vs URL:
On the web, people manipulate documents but on the semantic web, they can manipulate far more resources than that. We refer to them as URI’s (Universal Resource Identifier). URL’s (Universal Resource Locator) can be resolved on the web but a URI won’t necessarily be. In fact URL’s are URI’s, but not URI’s are URL’s. A URI may designate a topic, an author, a publication or website for example. “http:” is a URI scheme for example.Every URI has the method to access the resource and the identifier for that resource. It contains a location, or a name, or both. URN (Universal Resource Name) is the other specification for a URI (the other being URL). This creates a namespace for the resource but doesn’t say how it can be accessed.
- URI is an identifier for a resource
- URL gives information on how to get to that resource and its name
- URN provides the name of that resource
A URI is also a URL, so actually the name URL is redundant when talking about applications. Switch to URI.
Zitgist shows readers related data for a given URL, and allows them to take action based on that data. The example is Tim Berners-Lee. Tim has a lot of data related to him on the semantic web, so this will show up through the plugin. It displays related information
“The plug-in displays related information to links from a blog post. In this case, it is people Tim knows and Tim’s profile. The information is shown the users using a contextual menu. The data is requested to Zitgist’s systems and is displayed to the user.”
The links that you create from your blog posts to other web pages have a lot much more related information than you could manually put together and present. The Zitgist WordPress plug-in will explicit these links for your reader.
You’ll see it show up in my posts like for example next to this link to Tim Berners-Lee.
This plugin will allow for semantic information to be gathered and published about your blog. Fear not, it’s all in semantic markup.
It supports FOAF, which “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 on line world. FOAF support publishes your details that you set in your user profile”.
It supports Dublin Core and automatically tags posts with the title, creator and date elements. It looks like this:
<dc:title>A Guide to Growing Roses</dc:title>
<dc:description>Describes process for planting and nurturing different kinds of rose bushes.</dc:description>
This whole setup allows for connections to be made between individuals you are involved with online such as collaborators, blogs you read, people who read yours…The tags mean that your blog or that particular post will be attached to that topic for example. When someone searches for Jam tarts, it is known that your blog talks about this.
These guys are well known in the semantic web community and make all manner of cool tools for us to use. They have made a couple of WP plug-ins that work well. In fact all of the tags you see at the top of this post were generated by one of them.
The plugin uses the Open Calais API to perform semantic analysis of the text in your post and suggests suitable tags for you.
If youwant to tag up all of the posts on your blog but don’t want to have to go through each one, this plugin will do exactly what the one above does but for every post on your blog. (Appox. 5mins for 200 posts)
It uses the OpenCalais services to collect semantically related data about your post for you to use as tags (they’re exactly the same as if you use the WP Calais plugins directly). On top of that it uses those tags to search Flickr for photos that are of an appropriate license for you to use in your post.
Amazon machine tags
“Identifies any tag in the machine or triple tag form book:isbn=1234567890 or amazon:asin=1234567890. Works with native tags from WordPress 2.3 and later, Bunny’s Technorati Tags, and Jerome’s Keywords.”
In my posts these appear in the Zitgist icons.
“In the Semantic Web, it is not the Semantic which is new, it is the Web which is new” (Chris Welty, IBM)
There are more tools you can use to automatically create RDFa data for your website too.
Check out “Semantic Focus” for more info on the semantic web and lots of resources.