Archives: April 2012

Wolfram Alpha on Semantic Understanding & Democratized Data

Mastufa Ahmed recently interviewed Luc Barthelet, Executive Director of Wolfram|Alpha to learn more about the company’s search algorithm. Asked about what semantic web technologies Wolfram uses, Barthelet responded, “Wolfram|Alpha is not searching the Semantic Web per se. It takes search queries and maps them to an exact semantic understanding of the query, which is then processed against its curated knowledge base. The main technology used is Mathematica whose language is used to describe the semantic queries, and Mathematica technology is used to build up the natural language parser, the data curation pipeline and perform the data processing, computation and visualization.” Read more

Semantic Web Jobs: Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is looking for a Consultant of Text Analytics in Philadelphia, PA. The post states, “The role of Consultant, Text Analytics is to develop products and services that leverage internal and external ontologies, text mining and analytics to enhance the Life Sciences value propositions in core products and services engagements across the global organisation. As a position this highly motivated individual will be expected to take ownership of their workload; act independently & knowledgeably as the key contact within the group for ontologies and text mining ; work directly with internal and external customers to determine requirements and propose new offerings; work closely with Sales in customer engagements and work to deliver reusable components that answer specific business needs.” Read more

Living in a Perpetually Connected World

James Stevenson has shared his insights regarding the humanization of computing. He writes, “When Nicolaus Copernicus established that the earth moves around the sun he transformed our understanding of the solar system. The rise in digital devices such as PCs, laptops and smartphones, that we use to access personal and corporate information on a daily basis is having a similar impact on our expectations of computing, and has revolutionised the way we live our lives. We are now at a stage when IT is beginning to blend into the background and technology is everywhere.”

He continues, “The availability of omniscient network connections means that we are ‘always online’ and constantly connected to knowledge, people and things… We now live in a networked economy where we revolve around data that is accessed through a variety of digital devices held together by the web and available on demand. Read more

Volume, Emotion, Sponsorship: What Brands Have An Edge on Social Media Strategies?

Market Strategies International recently released the first edition of what it says will be an annual Social Media Brand Index, a measure for brands both of consumer-generated social media about them and of their own sponsored content. The Index takes into account four components. Volume, or the amount of buzz about a brand online, is one of them — and its most highly weighted component, too. The others take their cue from what we might call more meaning-related measures, sentiment analytics and semantic markup among them.

For example, there’s net Sentiment, which Market Strategies says represents the ratio of positive to negative sentiments expressed about a brand based on automated natural language processing of the content of posts, comments and mentions. Another component, Positive Emotions, seems to flow from that measure, representing the number of content items that are identified as having the warm fuzzies about them, again based on automated coding of content.

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US Takes a Note from Ireland on Open Data

The US has launched open data standards that were originally developed in Ireland, John Kennedy reports. He writes, “The open data movement is in full swing and tools and standards created in Ireland are to prove pivotal to open data employed by the US government. It emerged today that agencies in the US Government have adopted a set of web tools and standards developed in Ireland by researchers at NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). DERI’s technologies are being utilised by, a portal developed to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the US government. DERI’s research, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, focuses on enabling networked knowledge, using the latest semantic web and linked data technologies.” Read more

Applying Semantic Technology to Big Data

Rob Styles has written an article regarding how semantic technologies can be effectively applied to the third V of Big Data: variety. (The other two Vs are volume and velocity.) Styles writes, “That third V of the Big Data puzzle is where I’ve been helping people use graphs of data (and that’s what RDF is, a graph model). Graphs are great where you have a variety of data that you want to link up. Especially if you want to extend the data often and if you want to extend the data programmatically — i.e. you don’t want to commit to a complete, constraining schema up-front. The other aspect of that variety in data that graphs help with is querying. As Jem Rayfield (BBC News & Sport) explains, using a graph makes the model simpler to develop and query.” Read more

Semantic Commerce: Structuring Your Retail Website for the Next Generation Web

Are you wondering why your product pages don’t stand out in search results like those from Amazon (shown below) or other competing e-commerce websites? These expanded results are commonly known as Rich Snippets (as named by Google) and are the result of having your HTML structured correctly with semantic markup. Whether you’re savvy to HTML5 and the latest design trends, or you haven’t updated your website code in years, this is article will explain why it’s important you structure your data properly utilizing semantic standards.

Sample of Rich Snippet result

There are a number of ways to structure your data to make it more relevant to search engines, as well as social media sites. As an e-commerce retailer it is important to understand which of these standards you should consider including in your website. You should take some time to ensure you are implementing semantic markup, and doing it correctly. It has the power to better inform potential customers with upfront knowledge prior to landing on your site. Customers can see product reviews, pricing and stock information, and even images before clicking through to your website. This can lead to increased click-through rates, improve conversions, and generally enhance your SEO objectives.

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Cambridge Semantics Named Best in Show

Cambridge Semantics’ new Competitive Intelligence Solution has been named Best in Show at the 2012 BioIT World Conference. The company reports, “Based on the flagship Anzo Software Suite, the Cambridge Semantics Competitive Intelligence Solution was recognized for its unique approach to helping biopharma companies handle their diverse and ever-changing information needs.” Read more

Hojoki Goes Mobile, Drives The Social Work Graph

Hojoki, the cloud productivity-app aggregator with semantic tech underpinnings that The Semantic Web Blog first discussed here, is going mobile. The company’s launching the take-along version of the app, which delivers a single newsfeed of users’ cloud-connected work, for both Android and iOS platforms at The Next Web Conference’s Startup Rally event.

In the coming weeks, the mobile version will add to the newsfeed features including collaboration and push notifications, says CEO and co-founder Martin Böhringer.

As far as collaboration goes, the company is announcing in conjunction with its mobile news the addition of new social features to make that process easier. It wants to advance the cause of helping users leverage what it calls the much- overlooked Work Graph. “Our mission now is: discover the Work Graph,” says Böhringer. The Work Graph, he explains, consists of the people you’re working with, and Hojoki already know most of them if you’ve connected it to some productivity apps.

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Metadata, Big Data, and the Financial Sector

Bryan Bell of Cogito reports that financial companies are wise to turn to semantic metadata for better Big Data analytics. Bell writes, “Financial institutions are looking to linguistics and semantics as the best option for managing and taking advantage of their unstructured data, using it to better understand customers and competitors, to identify impactful market trends or simply to automate the process of answering common customer questions. As one Chief Data Officer put it, ‘We are the stewards of one of our firms’ most important assets, data, and we have been charged with bringing meaning to the data. I believe semantics offers a consistent, long-term capability and change in how data will be managed’.” Read more