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Knowee, a social address book and more

Knowee logoTwo days ago, Benjamin Nowack announced the re-release of Knowee, a distributed social web address book. Knowee started out as a project supported by the W3C Semantic Web Interest Group and will also available for download soon. This means you can install it on your own server, if you like.

Knowee is somewhat similar to NoseRub as it aggregates many of your profiles from popular social networks and applications like Twitter,, or Delicious. But Knowee adds a lot of semantic wizardry to all the data its bots collect over time. Among the technologies employed are FOAF, RDF, Microformats, OpenID, Google's Social Graph API, and SPARQL. The latter makes it easy to re-use the aggregated information in other applications. Without digging too deep into all these formats and APIs, let me say this seems to evolve into a very powerful tool, far more than a simple address book. For more info, read the introductory blog post, or simply take a shot at it.

Knowee conceptThat being said, I'm a little irritated about how little buzz Knowee has created so far (only 4[!] hits on Technorati?). Is everyone simply fed up with yet another social network aggregator? Or am I just a little bit too impatient? I don't know, but I know that Knowee deserves more attention even if it's still in an early stage. Especially since I'm sure that Benjamin will add more useful features soon, e.g. the integration of MyBlogLog.

My public Knowee profile can be found here.

SPARQLBot, fetch!

I've just learned about SPARQLBot via this posting by Manu Sporny to the uf-discuss mailing list. He writes

This has to be the coolest semantic web related thing I've seen this year. Sparqlbot lets you load semantic data from various URLs and perform SPARQL queries on them via IRC using natural language. [...] The end result is something that resembles the ship computer from Star Trek.

and goes on to cite what probably was his first conversation with SPARQLbot. Funny and playful, but also a very interesting example of what is already possible with semantic web parsers.

SPARQL is a protocol and a query language for RDF data with a syntax similar to other well-known query languages. You can use it for fetching and even writing data that is stored in RDF format. SPARQLBot is a fun project that was demonstrated at Semantic Camp in London earlier this month and has been described as the Semantic Web Command Line. People can contribute their own SPARQL queries as SPARQLBot commands, and so far the count exceeds 30 entries. If you want to talk to SPARQLBot, visit #sparqlbot and give it some commands. Hilarious!