Our own Jennifer Zaino recently shared the story of two developers turning to the semantic web to create a social democracy platform for global protesters. The effort is called Tribeforth Foundation’s Project 99. In a parallel effort, Ed Knutson and the Federated General Assembly are at work on their own social networking platform for protesters. Trent Nouveau reports, “Activists associated with the rapidly evolving OccupyWallStreet (OWS) movement have kicked off an initiative to redefine social networking for a new age of global protest. According to web and mobile app developer Ed Knutson, the new tech could go well beyond OWS to help create more distributed social networks, optimize online business collaboration and perhaps even help make the concept of a semantic web a reality.”

Knutson told Wired, “I don’t want to say we’re making our own Facebook. But, we’re making our own Facebook… [Frankly], we don’t want to trust Facebook with private messages among activists.” Nouveau continues, “So how does the OWS version of social networking differ from Facebook? Well, the project – tentatively dubbed Federated General Assembly (FGA) – will eventually comprise multiple interlinked social networks across the globe. It is expected to rely on Open ID and OAuth protocols, allowing users to sign into one OWS network and participate on multiple satellite sites.

Nouveau adds, “Last, but certainly not least, FGA is envisioned as a platform that will allow the free flow of data between disparate systems via shared tags under the auspices of a Resource Description Framework (RDF). Meaning, RDF could theoretically allow sites to work together even if they are powered by different content management software such as Drupal, Joomla or WordPress.”

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ _PaulS_