Remember how search engines can show nice snippets in their search results thanks to the structured data that webmasters embedded in the HTML of their webpages (RDFa, schema.org, etc)? Additionally, Facebook gains insight about user’s interest through structured data on webpages (i.e. Open Graph Protocol). Now there is a new kid on the block: Twitter.
Twitter recently introduced Twitter Cards, a way to “attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content.” By adding structured data embedded in the HTML of your webpage, “users who Tweet links to your content will have a ‘card’ added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.” Basically, Twitter will now have a bit more of information about your webpage in order to know how to make a nice snippet in a tweet.
The latest version of the StreamGlider iPad news reader app for providing consumers with topic-oriented streams of information debuted this week. It brought with it the capability to limit hashtag or keyword searches in a Twitter, YouTube, or Flickr frame to a local area and turn on geo-awareness at the user’s request. But the bigger and more semantic event will be StreamGlider’s upcoming move to the enterprise, with the consumer app serving as a showcase to those potential customers.
StreamGlider CEO Bill McDaniel – also CEO of SemantiStar, which developed the application that The Semantic Web Blog first covered here and here – says to expect in the enterprise edition a very interesting semantic search/semantic relations engine in the background for correlating up to three data sets of semi-structured, unstructured and structured data. The company already is working with one client on a specific application of the generic technology for its custom needs, and talking to a second customer about a pilot around the idea.
Late last week Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Facebook is working on an improved search engine with 20 developers under the direction of former Google engineer Lars Rasmussen, who joined the social network giant in 2010. According to the article’s unnamed sources, the goal “is to help users better sift through the volume of content that members create on the site, such as status updates, and the articles, videos, and other information across the Web that people ‘like’ using Facebook’s omnipresent thumbs-up button.”
As the news starts to make its way around the Web, the focus is on how this can intensify the competition between Facebook and Google, even if Facebook doesn’t directly go after the big web search enchilada. (Most seem to agree that it isn’t, at least not yet.) Better searching inside its own four walls, with its ability to use its host of knowledge about friends’ social graph data – their Likes and more – to more accurately personalize results, might encourage users to stay where they are rather than head out to search engine land, at least for some things. And at the same time let Facebook hone its advertising to profit from improved search results, too.
It would be an interesting turn of events, to have the leading search engine face the dilemma that online publishers long have been trying to deal with – keeping visitors engaged and exploring on their own sites rather than departing for Google in search of related information. As The Semantic Web Blog reported this week in a story about premium publishers deploying more semantic technology to try to solve that issue, most premium publishers lose 30 to 50 percent of their traffic to search engines.
Just a little over a year ago The Semantic Web Blog introduced our readers to Gravity in this article. The project, spearheaded by former MySpace execs, is focused on building the Interest Graph. The team’s been pretty quiet about development efforts since that time — until just this month, when it announced Gravity Labs to let the public in on a little more about its underlying Interest Graph infrastructure and to showcase the platform. It also announced that it was open-sourcing some of the “plumbing” code it came up with during development, while understandably keeping its core IT, ontology and algorithms under wraps.
The announcement noted that the internally-named Gravity Interest Service for personalizing content at scale, in real-time, went live at production-scale 6 months ago. So far the technology has created over 400 million user interest graphs; served over 13 million pieces of personalized content per day; personalized the daily Internet experience of tens of millions of users per month; and processed over 25 million inbound interest signals per day, the company says. It expects that at this rate, that in under six months it will be handling 10X all of these numbers.
The Semantic Web Blog once again caught up with Gravity CTO Jim Benedetto to talk some more about the Interest Graph, a term he acknowledges gets thrown around quite a bit these days, with a lot of web sites claiming they’ve got the goods. But, he says, “what they effectively are saying is that buried deep within the data of our logs or deep in the data of how our users interact with our site, we know there are interest indicators there. But a lot of them are not doing much with their data.” Interest Graphs, he says, aren’t owned, but interest data resides in individual places and across the web at large — and they need the Gravity platform to help unlock that to create dynamic and personalized experiences for users, Benedetto says.
Mark Walsh reports that Healthline Networks has made a deal with Drugs.com to sell targeted advertising on the site exclusively. Walsh writes, “The partnership expands the reach of Healthline’s HealthWeb to nearly 55 million unique monthly visitors, or roughly half the audience seeking health information online. Under the agreement, Healthline will sell direct response and brand advertising on behalf of Drugs.com, as well as create sponsored content areas on the site and enhance ad opportunities on Drugs.com’s mobile properties.” Read more
A leading biopharmaceutical company has chosen Semantelli’s CoProtect software to manage its online and social media reputation. The article reports, “Semantelli’s compliance ready, life sciences specific social listening solutions have helped top companies uncover previously unknown threats and opportunities emerging from web and social media… In August of 2011, Semantelli launched AETracker to help pharmaceutical companies monitor and manage adverse events reported on company owned Facebook pages and other social media outlets. Since the launch, AETracker has been deployed by top 10 pharma and OTC companies to manage and protect brand sponsored social media outlets.” Read more
Google has purchased over two hundred IBM patents including one patent for a semantic social network. Peter Pachal reports, “While the patents cover a variety of topics, one in particular could give the search giant a new tool for its social network, Google+. The patents cover many different technologies, but they mainly deal with data services like email management, online calendars and transferring web apps between devices. The patent grab, first reported by SEO by the Sea, potentially serves two purposes: providing avenues to develop new products, and providing ammunition in litigation.” Read more