Posts Tagged ‘Pinterest’

Semantic Tech Lends A Hand To Thanksgiving Holiday Sales

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Retailers are pushing holiday shopping deals earlier and earlier each year, but for many consumers the Thanksgiving weekend still signals the official start of the gift-buying season. With that in mind, we present some thoughts on how the use of semantic technology may impact your holiday shopping this year.

  • Pinterest has gained a reputation as the go-to social network for online retailers that want to drive traffic and sales. Shoppers get an advantage, too, as more e-tailers deploy Rich Pins, a feature made available for general use late last year, for their products, using either schema.org or Open Graph. Daily updated Product Rich Pins now include extra information such as real-time pricing, availability and where to buy metatags right on the Pin itself. And, anyone who’s pinned a product of interest will get a notification when the price has dropped. OverstockTarget, and Shopify shops are just some of the sites that take advantage of the feature. Given that 75 percent of its traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s nice that a recent update to Pinterest’s iPhone mobile app – and on the way for Andoid and iPads – also makes Pins information and images bigger on small screens.

 

  • Best Buy was one of the earliest retailers to look to semantic web technologies to help out shoppers (and its business), adding meaning to product data via RDFa and leveraging ontologies such as GoodRelations, FOAF and GEO. Today, the company’s web site properties use microdata and schema.org, continually adding to shopper engagement with added data elements, such as in-stock data and store location information for products in search results, as you can see in this presentation this summer by Jay Myers, Best Buy’s Emerging Digital Platforms Product Manager, given at Search Marketing Expo.

 

  • Retailers such as Urban Decay, Crate&Barrel, Golfsmith and Kate Somerville are using Edgecase’s Adaptive Experience platform, generating user-friendly taxonomies from the data they already have to drive a better customer navigation and discovery experience. The system relies on both machine learning and human curation to let online buyers shop on their terms, using the natural language they want to employ (see our story here for more details).

 

  • Walmart at its Walmart Labs has been steadily driving semantic technology further into its customer shopping experience. Last year, for example, Walmart Labs senior director Abhishek Gattani discussed at the Semantic Technology and Business conference capabilities it’s developed such as semantic algorithms for color detection so that it can rank apparel, for instance, by the color a shopper is looking for and show him items in colors close to read when red itself is not available, as well as categorizing queries to direct people to the department that’s really most interesting to them. This year, WalMart Labs added talent from Adchemy when it acquired the company to bring further expertise in semantic search and data analytics to its team, as well as Luvocracy, an online community that enables the social shopping experience—from discovery of products recommended by people a users trusts to commerce itself. Search and product discovery is at the heart of new features its rolling out to drive the in-store experience too, via mobile apps such as Search My Store to find exactly where items on their list are located at any retail site.

What’s your favorite semantically-enhanced shopping experience? Share it with our readers below to streamline their holiday shopping!

 

Pinterest’s Acquisition of VisualGraph Could Lead to Monetization

Pinterest

Faith Merino of Vator.tv reports, “Pinterest may have just gotten one step closer to monetizing. The company has confirmed its acquisition of visual search technology company VisualGraph, which could result in A) a stronger commerce angle, or B) ultra targeted ads. Or both! The two-man company was founded by Kevin Jing, who formerly worked on Google’s image search technology. VisualGraph was specifically designed to be applied to commerce and ‘visual shopping,’ so it seems likely that that’s how Pinterest will integrate the technology. And Pinterest is definitely raising money like a commerce company. The startup recently raised a massive $225 million round just last October, bringing its total raised to more than $550 million since 2010.” Read more

Good-Bye 2013

Courtesy: Flickr/MadebyMark

Courtesy: Flickr/MadebyMark

As we prepare to greet the New Year, we take a look back at the year that was. Some of the leading voices in the semantic web/Linked Data/Web 3.0 and sentiment analytics space give us their thoughts on the highlights of 2013.

Read on:

 

Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead, W3C:

The completion and rapid adoption of the updated SPARQL specs, the use of Linked Data (LD) in life sciences, the adoption of LD by the European Commission, and governments in the UK, The Netherlands (NL) and more [stand out]. In other words, [we are seeing] the maturation and growing acknowledgement of the advantages of the technologies.

I contributed to a recent study into the use of Linked Data within governments. We spoke to various UK government departments as well as the UN FAO, the German National Library and more. The roadblocks and enablers section of the study (see here) is useful IMO.

Bottom line: Those organisations use LD because it suits them. It makes their own tasks easier, it allows them to fulfill their public tasks more effectively. They don’t do it to be cool, and they don’t do it to provide 5-Star Linked Data to others. They do it for hard headed and self-interested reasons.

Christine Connors, founder and information strategist, TriviumRLG:

What sticks out in my mind is the resource market: We’ve seen more “semantic technology” job postings, academic positions and M&A activity than I can remember in a long time. I think that this is a noteworthy trend if my assessment is accurate.

There’s also been a huge increase in the attentions of the librarian community, thanks to long-time work at the Library of Congress, from leading experts in that field and via schema.org.

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Where Schema.org Is At: A Chat With Google’s R.V. Guha

 

rvg Interested in how schema.org has trended in the last couple of years since its birth? If you were at The International Semantic Web Conference event in Sydney a couple of weeks back, you may have caught Google Fellow Ramanathan V. Guha — the mind behind schema.org — present a keynote address about the initiative.

Of course, Australia’s a far way to go for a lot of people, so The Semantic Web Blog is happy to catch everyone up on Guha’s thoughts on the topic.

We caught up with him when he was back stateside:

The Semantic Web Blog: Tell us a little bit about the main focus of your keynote.

Guha: The basic discussion was a progress report on schema.org – its history and why it came about a couple of years ago. Other than a couple of panels at SemTech we’ve maintained a rather low profile and figured it might be a good time to talk more about it, and to a crowd that is different from the SemTech crowd.

The short version is that the goal, of course, is to make it easier for mainstream webmasters to add structured data markup to web pages, so that they wouldn’t have to track down many different vocabularies, or think about what Yahoo or Microsoft or Google understands. Before webmasters had to champion internally which vocabularies to use and how to mark up a site, but we have reduced that and also now it’s not an issue of which search engine to cater to.

It’s now a little over two years since launch and we are seeing adoption way beyond what we expected. The aggregate search engines see about 15 percent of the pages we crawl have schema.org markup. This is the first time we see markup approximately on the order of the scale of the web….Now over 5 million sites are using it.  That’s helped by the mainstream platforms like Drupal and WordPress adopting it so that it becomes part of the regular workflow. Read more

Nara Delivers Neural Networking For All

rsz_naramalayNara is officially on its way from being solely a consumer-lifestyle brand – with its neural networking technology helping users find dining and hotel experiences that match their tastes – to also being the power behind other companies’ recommendation and curation offerings. This summer it made a deal with Singapore Communications’ Singtel Digital Life Division to use its technology to help their users hone in on personalized eating options, and today that online food and dining guide, HungryGoWhereMalysia, goes live.

But Singtel won’t be the only outside party to plug into Nara’s backbone, as the company today also is announcing that it is licensing its capabilities to other parties interested in leveraging them. “An enterprise can plug into our neural network in the cloud through our API,” says CEO Tom Copeman, accessing its smarts for analyzing and then personalizing tons of data from anywhere on the web, tailored to the type of service they’d like to offer.

HungryGoWhereMalaysia, for example, is much like Nara for personalized restaurant discovery here in the states, except culturally branded to their markets; local consumers will get tailored list of dining recommendations from over 35,000 restaurants throughout the country, and as the service gets to know them better, suggestions will be more finely honed to match their Digital DNA profiles. “We believe we’re the first in computer science to receive third-party data from outside sources through our API into our neural network, to make the calculations and comparisons, and send back down a more organized, personalized and targeted selections based on individual preferences.”

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Take A Peek At Some Semantic Halloween Treats

rsz_bones5How can the semantic web help you participate in and celebrate Halloween this year? We trolled around and came up with a few ideas:

* Still haven’t found just the right costume yet for tonight’s festivities (for you, that is – we’re sure the kids have had theirs planned for some time). Perhaps you’re thinking hard about a do-it-yourself skeleton theme, but aren’t sure of the details for creating the most realistic effect? Well, if you head over to semantic search engine DuckDuckGo’s science goodies section, you’ll get a quick response on the number of bones in the human body, courtesy of Wolfram/Alpha computations. You can take it from there.

* OK, costume’s in check. Now how about what to do while wearing it?

sensebotscreenSemantic search engine SenseBot might be a help here, pointing you to information it’s extracted from web pages and summarizing them in a, well, sensible way, as well as offering a cloud of the concepts it’s discovered for you to further narrow your agenda. The results can be a little off here and there, but it’s nice to have an option to further narrow a search, like one for adult activities to partake in on Halloween, to something more granular, like those designed for the “scare” factor.

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How Pinterest is Capitalizing on the Semantic Web

Katherine Gray of Entrepreneur reports, “Pinterest, once the purview of wedding planners and overachieving parents, has become one of the most popular social sharing networks, and has been taking steps to become more of a resource for businesses. And it has a plan for its growth in the months to come. For instance, the site recently rolled out ‘rich pins’ — product pins, recipe pins and movie pins — which provide information such as price, availability and locations where users can purchase items they pin from certain retailers. Today, Pinterest is going a step further with automatic notifications for users when a product they’ve pinned goes on sale.” Read more

Tagging the Visual Web: Visual Media Doesn’t Have To Be Dumb Anymore

Instagram. Tumblr. Pinterest. The web in 2012 is a tremendously visual place, and yet, “visual media still as dumb today as it was 20 years ago,” says Todd Carter, founder and CEO of Tagasauris.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and Tagasauris has put its money on changing the state of things.

Why is dumb visual media a problem, especially at the enterprise-level? Visual media, in its highly un-optimized state, hasn’t been thought of in the same way that companies think about how making other forms of data more meaningful and reasonable can impact their business processes. A computer’s ability to assess image color, pattern and texture isn’t highly useful in the marketplace, and as a result visual media has “just been outside the realm of normal publishing processes, normal workflow processes,” Carter says. Therefore, what so many organizations – big media companies, photo agencies, and so on –  would rightly acknowledge to be their treasure troves of images don’t yield anywhere near the economic value that they can.

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Digital Marketers: Time To Get More Savvy With Social Media

The Digital Channel Intelligence (DCI) Solution unveiled last week by enterprise social intelligence vendor NetBase aims to make conversations on social channels more useful to the brands and agencies that hope to gain insight from that commentary. In a world where digital marketing is swiftly becoming entrenched in most businesses, NetBase says that DCI will offer a comprehensive, real-time picture of what’s happening across forums ranging from Facebook, to Twitter, to YouTube, to Pinterest and others. It will provide a way for digital marketers to roll up key metrics specific to each one (community growth, amplification and conversation rates, for example, as well as total impressions generated), integrating actionable insights from the broader social web. That includes providing an understanding of what fans and followers are saying to help feed digital marketing decisions and direction.

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Springpad Gets a New Look, Improved Semantic Search

Sarah Mitroff of VentureBeat reports that Springpad, a digital notebook service that we have covered before, has released the latest version of their service for the web, iOS, and Android. Mitroff writes, “The new version is a major overhaul of the service and includes some Pinterest-inspired design elements. We all tend to save a lot of digital information these days; it’s one of the reasons Pinterest has become so popular. But before Pinterest’s time, Evernote and Springpad were competing to be the best digital notebook to save snapshots of webpages, notes, to-do lists, and anything else you want to remember later. Springpad has become outdated in recent years, with an almost cartoony-like interface.” Read more