Do you like my catchy title (Update: okay I agree with Danny: “Web 3.0 love secrets of the French” is a more catchy title)? A little bit ironic considering all the brouhaha (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (and a way to much more) that generated this New-York Times article wrote by John Markoff. Web 3.0… semantic web… semantic web 3.0… call it what you like, I don’t really care: really. What is fantastic is that more and more people get interested in what many people are working on since about 12 years: the Web of Data.
Without caring about all the recent hype (and misunderstanding) it recently got, some people could ask themselves about how they could easily participate to the idea of the Semantic Web: the Web of Data.
Is it possible for the common of mortals? Yeah, even my mom could (at least if she had a blog).
If you have a blog, you can easily participate to the semantic web by installing a simple add-on to your blog system and by starting pinging a server called Ping the Semantic Web each time you publish a new blog post.
The idea here is to get the articles you wrote (and will write) and publish them on the web not as a web page, but as a document for the semantic web. You can see the Web like that:
At top, you have a source of data: the articles you wrote on your blog for example.
Then with that same source of information, you can participate to two different Webs:
- At the left, you have the “web of humans”: the Web that can easily be understands by humans when they take a look at the screen. This is your blog.
- At the right, you have the “web of machines”: the Web that can easily by read and processed by machines. This is another version of your blog but for machines.
Well, it seems complex, so how the hell my mom is supposed to be able to participate to the semantic web?!?!?!?
Easy, In a hypothetical World, my mom is using: WordPress for her blog on cooking, Dotclear for her blog about design, b2Evolution for her family blog and Drupal for her new French mothers` community website.
The only thing she has to do is to install one of the add-on available for each of these blogging systems.
The instructions to install the add-on on WordPress are simples:
1. Copy the following files to the WordPress wp-content/plugins/ directory:
2. Enable “SIOC Plugin” in the WordPress admin interface (Admin -> Plugins -> action “Activate”)
|For Dotclear, the installation package can be found here, and the source code of the add-on can be found here.|
|For b2Evolution: Copy the following files to the /xmlsrv/ directory of your b2Evolution installation folder:|
|For the Drupal add-on, all the information can be found here.|
As soon as she installed these add-ons, she started to participate to the semantic web.
Why people should take the time to install these add-ons? What is the advantage?
By doing so, you are exposing your blog`s content to many other web crawlers ( web crawlers of a new generation, propelled by the adoption of the semantic web).
From that point, you only have to ping a new pinging service called Ping the Semantic Web to make sure that your blog is visible to these new web services. The process is the same as pinging weblogs.com or technorati.com for your web feed (RSS or Atom), but you are pinging pingthesemanticweb.com: a specialized pinging service for the semantic web.
Doing that helps you to increase your visibility on the Web.
How can you setup your blog system to automatically ping this pinging service?
Simple, the process is the same for each system described above. By example, if you are using WordPress you only have to:
- Log into your WordPress Dashboard
- Select Options
- Then select the Writing tab
- Near the bottom you should see a space labeled “Update Services”: Add “http://rpc.pingthesemanticweb.com/” on a new line in this space
- Finally press the Update Options button
So, you only have to make your system pinging http://rpc.pingthesemanticweb.com/
In two simple steps (1) installing an add-on and (2) adding a service to ping, a blogger can get more visibility for his blog and can start to participate to the semantic web.