Archives: November 2010

SemTech 2011 Call for Presentations Now Open

The Call for Presentations (CFP) for the 2011 Semantic Technology Conference is now open!  Full details on the CFP requirements and process are available here:

SemTech 2011 Call for Presentations

Presentations for the conference will be reviewed by the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) – a group of semantic technology experts who have offered their time and expertise to help ensure that the educational agenda is once again representative of the best work in the field.  I’m grateful for the assistance of all the PAC members, who are listed here:

SemTech 2011 Program Advisory Committee

We’re interested in all sorts of presentations, from business and consumer applications through to fundamental technology discussions.  With each year, the emphasis of the program gradually shifts more towards practical experience as semantic technology matures and is more widely deployed, so we’re very much looking for semantic case studies and project experience. If you are developing a tool, or using semantics to create an exciting new start-up company, we want to hear your story as well.  And having said all that, we still keep timeslots available for cutting edge research and thought-leadership.  So SemTech really is an all-inclusive program for the entire community.

Feel free to email me with any questions at  And I’ll reiterate something I said a couple of weeks ago – if you know someone who is doing interesting work, please tell me about him or her so I can invite that person to participate.  We don’t claim to know everyone in the field so your assistance in finding good speakers is invaluable to the process of creating a great educational forum.

Tony Shaw
SemTech Program Co-Chair

ViewChange.Org Takes Video Into The Semantic Web In A Big Way


Here are two words that don’t necessarily spring first to mind when you think of implementing cutting-edge semantic web technology: Video and non-profit.

 Yet that’s exactly the direction taken by , a project of Link Media’s LinkTV nationwide news, events and culture television channel and website. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, uses video to tell stories about progress in global development, with an eye to influencing action on the part of everyone from average citizens to the media to policymakers to NGO staffers. Non-profit organizations, film distributors and individual filmmakers contribute to its own videos their documentaries, news reports, and other films to the site, and as users click through video links in featured topics, from water and sanitation to governance and transparency to environment, the site uses semantic web technologies to dynamically generate links from the video being viewed to related video media, news stories, topics and actions – links that change based on where you are in the video.   

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Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend Reading: Spend Some Time With Social Media Insights

Come tomorrow, you may be looking for a chance to do some relaxing reading after the Thanksgiving football and food fest and the Black Friday shopping chaos.

To that end, The Semantic Web Blog thought it would offer some guidance on a few analyst reports and surveys that you might enjoy spending some time with – and find useful for your business efforts, especially as they relate to how you can help drive value by better engaging with the exploding world of social media  – for your weekend reading:


  •  Gleansight: Social Media Monitoring: A new analyst firm, Gleanster LLC, has produced a new report on what companies are learning about the emerging area of mining social media content as they attempt to better understand the voice of the customer to improve marketing and consumer satisfaction and reduce research and support costs, among other things. That includes, of course, using text mining apps to identify topics and using semantic technologies to classify comments by positive or negative sentiment. The report focuses on the challenges — the technological ones, of course, such as finding the valuable nuggets in the volume of data.

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Semantinet Plans Next Steps In Helping Publishers Augment Content and Improve Its Quality

Semantinet has transitioned its HeadUp technology from a browser extension for end users to help them discover content to a hosted service that enriches publishers’ content with semantic content analysis and automatically generated topic pages that consolidate related materials from their internal repositories or across the web. Now it has some new plans in the works for that audience.

Next month will see a refresh of its site that includes a self-service installation for publishers to ease and speed deployment of its technology atop their content management systems, for one thing. Also in the queue are enhancements to its reporting capabilities. “Obviously we report to each site what content users are interested in, because we can go down to entities and categories, so on a large site with a lot of content we can tell them the most interesting topics of the day and which articles were popular around them, which helps publishers decide what to write about,” says founder and CEO Tal Keinan. An addition underway in support of publishers’ better understanding the quality of topic pages is a service it plans to enable in conjunction with Amazon Mechanical Turk’s workforce marketplace.

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Brand Advertisers: Admantx Semantics Provide A Way To Tap Into Emotions and Motivations

Photo courtesy: Flickr/sskennel

Expert System has spun out a new company that’s leveraging its semantic IP in the service of improving online advertising. Named Admantx (ads + semantics), the startup has Expert’s CEO J. Brooke Aker as its new CMO, its idea being to take contextual advertising to the next level, beyond the keywords, to improve content-ad matches, and to do it with a bit of Madmen flair. There are implications for product advertising, but the real beneficiaries, Admantx thinks, will be the brand advertisers.

“We can deeply analyze content on the page to form entities, names, places, concepts, ideas, all the traditional markup,” Aker says. “But here is the interesting extension – we’ve worked very hard to extend semantic understanding into the realm of emotions, behavior (as in, what kind of behavior does the content elicit in the reader) and motivation.” Appealing to emotions and motivations always has been the way advertising has worked in other mediums, he says, and it needs to have a bigger role in online advertising, as well – bringing Don Draper into the 21st century, so to speak.

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Elsevier 2010 Semantic Web Winners: Good Looks and Good Legs

This week of course saw the winners of the Elsevier 2010 Semantic Web Challenge revealed. Among the distinguishing features of the winners: The marriage of meaty semantic web technology and accessible user interfaces.

In the past entries might veer to the cool, funky and flashy on the surface, but a bit weak in the supporting infrastructure, or to some very compelling technical stuff that didn’t have a lot of interface appeal to the end user. But that wasn’t so much the case this time around, says Diana Maynard, one of this year’s co-chairs and a research associate in the computer science department at the University of Sheffield, where she focuses on NLP.

“People are starting to combine the two,” she says – good looks and good legs, so to speak.

That matters if semantic web technologies are to continue making headway outside the research communities and into some real practical applications. “You have to make the UI appealing to the outside user, especially with the take-up of semantic web technologies that we are starting to see in the real world,” Maynard says. “It’s important that these applications are not just research but things you can use in real life.” (The Semantic Web Blog recently looked at the UI issue in some depth here.)

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Understanding + Classification = Monetization From the Semantic Web, Says OpenAmplify

Semantic technology web services provider OpenAmplify unveiled the next
solution in its portfolio at this week’s Semantic Web Summit. It’s adding
onto its OpenAmplify platform, which surfaces the meaning of content (its
topics, sentiment, expressed intentions and so forth), with a customized
classification solution dubbed Ampliverse.

The company says that with the new service, it’s delivering the one-two
punch businesses need to monetize content:

1) Understanding and

2) Classification that lets businesses create taxonomies that are specific to
their own domains.

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Extractiv: Your Starting Point For the Semantic Web?

The semantics-as-a-service play Extractiv emerges from beta today, with its hopes set on serving as the go-to place for helping create applications built on rich, structured data.


The company, the result of a joint venture between 80legs web crawling service and NLP vendor Language Computer Corp., has a few new things on the way to add to its semantic web crawls for converting any structured data found on web pages (to the tune of 100,000 documents per hour) to semantic data.

It’s expanded to include more entities and relationships; it’s now offering an on-demand service for processing individual URLs or local documents; and it’s added entity linking and RDF outputs.

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The Semantic Web Delivers For Best Buy. So Why Not For Your Business, Too?

Best Buy may be considered by many as a poster child for why businesses should use Semantic Web technologies. An early adopter of the GoodRelations vocabulary (just recommended for product and price information usage in web pages by Google), the retailer has been at the forefront of the Semantic Web wave – but it’s only just begun.

Semantic Web technologies, says Jay Myers, lead web development engineer at Best Buy, are a portal to better insight, in more ways than one (thoughts he’ll be sharing in more detail with attendees at this week’s Semantic Web Summit in Boston).  “There is a vast amount of data that corporations produce or are able to consume,” he says – and within that a huge amount of insight most of them aren’t tapping into, which is a real loss considering the challenging environment that businesses such as retailers confront.

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WEBCAST: Maximizing your Google SEO Effect with Semantic Web Technology

NOTE: This Webcast is in three parts.
Part I
Part II
Part III

DESCRIPTION: If own or manage a web site that contains information about products or services, you can add a relatively small amount of markup to existing HTML, and have semantic information that both Google and other semantic applications will be able to process. Many Web search engines, smart phone apps, and even cutting-edge applications like augmented reality search for and use this type of markup.

Adding semantic markup provides an improved display of the information in Google search results, providing an inherent SEO benefit. This is the same technology being successfully used by BestBuy,, and many others. Read more