Posts Tagged ‘Silk’

Vacation Time: More Summer Fun With Semantic Tech

volcpixEarlier this week we took a look at how semantic technology can play into your summer outdoor living plans. Today, we’ll spend a little time looking into how semtech-based solutions could factor into your summer vacation plans.

Perhaps the latest advancement on that front was the work we reported on last week from Sabre, which launched a new developer portal to with APIs based around semantic algorithms that should lead to more personalized travel search services. But while we’re waiting for developers to glom on, there are some other fun ways to explore your holiday options, some of which you might not immediately think of as particularly germaine to the task.

Take, for example, semantic web site creation platform Silk. There are a universe of Silks that have been built that might whet your appetite for a more radical vacation than perhaps you were originally thinking of – or at least better prepare you for an adventure vacation you have in mind. There’s The Volcanoes Catalogue, for instance, with collections of information on all 1,551 known volcanoes. Using data from the Smithsonian Institution and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it plots the 50 highest volcanoes; categorizes them by type; and clues you into which are the most active; which have the highest volcano explosivity index (VEI), which rates eruptions based on the volume of product exploded and the cloud height; and which have caused the most casualties, among other features – all information that might be useful in matching your tolerance for risk and danger against your desire to experience steaming craters, hot lava and active eruptions up close.

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Silk for Teams Brings Semantic Web Site Creation To Groups

rsz_silk_logoSemantic web site creation platform Silk, which just received another $1.6 million via an extended seed round investment from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), is adding to its offerings. Silk for Teams brings to organizations, or groups within them, the chance to use its cloud-based platform to build, share, and search across structured collections of data, visualize it, and mix it with unstructured content for all-in-one views of information that previously may have been scattered across multiple applications and documents.

“In really big enterprise IT, you see things like Sharepoint and custom-built infrastructures” for team collaboration, says Silk CEO and co-founder Salar al Khafaji. A lot of smaller teams in companies or startups try to do the same via shared folders and documents, and that’s a gap that Silk wants to close, he says. “It’s surprising how many companies are running so much of their business from something like a shared spreadsheet. It’s a huge limitation but they don’t have the expertise or resources to build their own infrastructures.”

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Silk Launches New CSV Importer & Bookmarklet Tools

Silk, a company we have highlighted in the past, recently unveiled two new tools, the new CSV importer and the Silk bookmarklet. According to the company, “When you start a Silk site you can begin from scratch, but you might already have some data lying around. If this is the case, Silk makes your life a bit easier by offering the CSV Importer. This tool can automatically create a page for every row in a spreadsheet. You can use this for your own spreadsheets or for publicly available datasets. The only caveat is that your spreadsheet must be exported as a CSV file. CSV stands for Comma-Separated Values. It is the most common and easy way to format rows of data. Every well known spreadsheet program can export to this file format.” Read more

Semantic Web Jobs: Silk

Silk is expanding their small team in Amsterdam. According to Silk, “We’re building a platform for a more structured and accessible web – for humans and machines. Silk is the place to create, share and find information, such as your favorite places or recipes, information related to a project, your investment portfolio or stats about the countries of the world.”

The post continues, “Our team is still small, so you’ll have a huge impact on the outcome of the company. Read more

Amid Mixed Picture For VC Investments, Silk Gets More Seed Funding

Just as reports are coming in that venture-backed companies based in Europe recently have raised more money but in a fewer number of deals, word comes from the team at Amsterdam-based Silk that its latest seed round has brought in an additional $1.6 million.

According to new analysis from Dow Jones VentureSource, VC-backed companies based in Europe raised EUR 1.3 billion through 273 venture capital deals during the second quarter of 2012. That marked a 14 percent increase in capital raised but a 20 percent decline in deals from the same period last year, it said. Additionally, second-round deals accounted for 19 percent of deal flow and 18 percent of capital invested, down from 25 percent and 28 percent, respectively, in the year-ago period, it said.

Silk in May 2011 completed a $475,000 funding round led by Atomico, the venture capital firm headed up by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström.

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Simpler Semantic Web Tools for Lay Users

Dan Misener of The Globe and Mail recently discussed the need for Semantic Web tools that are more accessible for everyday users and noted that Silk (a company we have profiled here) is working toward that goal. He writes, “On its surface, Silk looks like a simple tool for building Web pages. But behind the scenes, something deeper is going on. ‘When you create a site in Silk, you’ll be able to express the meaning of your words,’ explains Sander Koppelaar, Silk’s head of operations. ‘In the background, Silk builds a data model of the information in your site. It still looks very much like text. It looks a bit like Google Docs. But in the background, you’re silently building a data model. And that means that Silk understands the information on a deeper level.’ The tool is specifically designed to be easy for non-technical users.” Read more

It’s Open Beta Launch Time For Silk Semantic Web Site Creator

Silk is launching in open beta today (May 10). The service for applying semantics to create more powerful web sites, which we last discussed here, moves out of a private beta stage that the company says saw more than 10,000 users.

“A lot of the sites during the private beta were, well… private, so we can’t go into details about those,” says Sander Koppelaar, head of operations. Countries of the World, with all United Nations member state information, is one public Silk-powered demo web site for those who’d like to explore one. Generally speaking, he says there’s been a wide variety of use cases, ranging from professional publishers and data journalists to businesses and even personal use. “Publishers have used Silk to interpret data sets such as deadly traffic accidents, house sales and MBA rankings.

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Smooth As Silk (App) Web Sites

Want web sites to run as smooth as silk? So do the developers behind Silk, who’ve been working the last couple of years to make it easy to apply semantics to create more powerful web sites, with information that can be used more effectively.

Silk, which The Semantic Web Blog previously has covered here and here, now is in the process of testing its WYSIWYG Silk Editor with a select user set, and is slowly inviting more interested parties to get involved. It expects to release it publicly soon. The simplicity of the Silk Editor, says Sander Koppelaar, head of business development, is that it looks very much like familiar environments – think a graphical Wiki – while supporting tagging information on a page, such as the population or capital of Amsterdam, if that were the subject.

“That way you first create pages that are very handy for users because they are built for humans, containing text and images you’d see on a normal web site,” he says. “But more or less without noticing it you build on your data model and can start to use that to create the great overviews and answer actual questions about the data.”

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Silk Raises Nearly $500K in Funding

We recently reported on the impressive Amsterdam startup, Silk, winner of the TNW Startup Rally: “Silk is an app for the web that helps you collect, sort and view the information that you need without making you comb through the data yourself. It also allows content creators to provide their content in a more structured manner on the web. This is an app that will allow you to better navigate the semantic web seas, also known as Web 3.0.” According to a recent article, “Silk announced it has completed a €320,000 ($475,000) funding round led by Atomico, the venture capital firm led by Niklas Zennström, who also co-founded Skype.” Read more

Silk Helps You ‘Comb Through’ the Semantic Web

Silk, a new semantic web app was discussed at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam last week. According to one article, “Silk is an app for the web that wants to help you collect, sort and view the information that you need without making you comb through the data yourself. This is an app that will help you navigate the semantic web seas, also known as ‘Web 3.0’. Think of it as an intern that knows everything about a given subject and can deliver that information to you with minimal effort.” Read more