Posts Tagged ‘OpenGraph’

Senzari’s MusicGraph APIs Look To Enhance Musical Journeys

MusicGraph image

News came the other week that Senzari had announced the MusicGraph knowledge engine for music. The Semantic Web Blog had a chance to learn a little bit more about it what’s underway thanks to a chat with Senzari’s COO Demian Bellumio.

MusicGraph used to go by the geekier name of Adaptable Music Parallel Processing Platform, or AMP3 for short, for helping users control their Internet radio. “We wanted to put more knowledge into our graph. The idea was we have really cool and interesting data that is ontologically connected in ways never done before,” says Bellumio. “We wanted to put it out in the world and let the world leverage it, and MusicGraph is a production of that vision.”

Since its announcement earlier this month about launching the consumer version on the Firefox OS platform that lets users make complex queries about music and learn and then listen to results, Senzari has submitted its technology to be offered for the iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile platforms.  “You can ask anything you can think of in the music realm. We connect about 1 billion different points to respond to these queries,” he says. Its data covers more than twenty million songs, connected to millions of individual albums and artists across all genres, with extracted information on everything from keys to concept extractions derived from lyrics.

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Yandex’ New Interactive Snippets: Now Users Can Book, Buy And Pay Bills Right From Its Search Page

Rich snippets – yep, they were a nice start, but Russian search engine Yandex thinks it’s time for something more powerful. Something it’s calling interactive snippets and a feature it’s branding as Islands for its search results pages.

Yandex says the new feature evolves from rich snippets, which CTO Ilya Segalovich refers to in the press release as “mere decoration.” Interactive snippets, in contrast, are actionable, letting users do things like book movie tickets, make reservations or pay bills right from the search page. Webmasters can choose to add this functionality to their web sites if they want to, and while it may get their business customers – especially those using smartphones and tablets – who want to make their transactions as seamless as possible, it does mean those users won’t be making the journey to the business’ own web site.

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Facebook’s Instagram Acquisition: Fueling More Startup Fever and Semantic Startups’ Dreams

The news of Facebook’s acquisition of mobile photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion this week may be fueling the dreams of tech start-ups of every stripe, including those in the semantic tech community. In fact, they may have even greater reason to be inspired: A recent  report has it that Instagram has been slowly rolling out an Open Graph integration for the app accomplished in collaboration with Facebook for seamlessly publishing photos to users’ Timelines in what may be the first of similar partner-deals down the road.

Other startups infused with semantic tech smarts may be on high lookout for funding opportunities as an important part of making those dreams come true. Thomson Reuters and The National Venture Capital Association this week released funding stats for the first quarter of 2012 that could put a bit of a damper on things: It found a 35 percent decrease by dollar commitments and a 9 percent decline by number of funds, compared to the first quarter of 2011. But, according to a statement by Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA, venture firms “appear to be more optimistic about the fundraising environment in 2012.”

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Will Facebook Search Improvements Turn The Tables, Disrupt Relationships?

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.

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