Origins of SIOC?

Last week, Tim Berners-Lee was experimenting with some of our SIOC data in Tabulator, and I realised how far SIOC has come in the past two years.

… … …

I’ve been trying to figure out when we started using the term SIOC. On 6th April 2004, Andreas proposed to myself, Ina and Stefan that we write a paper for a web community technology workshop. I replied:

I guess this could tie in with what I was hoping to put together regarding making existing web communities semantic – I only wrote a paragraph but perhaps we can start by identifying paper section titles…

So the idea had been forming sometime before that (I joined DERI in March 2004). Around the 12th April 2004, we were collaborating on the proposed paper together via Kwiki, where I wrote:

What I had in mind was something like “Semantically Enabling Existing Online Communities” – that is taking an existing community, modifying the architecture to allow processing available information that allows semantically-enhanced searching etc.

  • User profiles -> FOAF RDF files
  • Blogs -> RDF or Atom XML
  • Forum messages -> RDF (maybe like the e-mail RDF you mentioned Andreas)

Andreas liked the idea of interlinking online communities as well – “online communities are islands that are not interlinked” – so I came up with the acronym SIOC sometime between mid- to late-April 2004, and we started using SIOC in our paper drafts around the end of the month. I vaguely remember explaining the acronym to Andreas offline, saying how it was also the Irish word for “frost”. We also brainstormed the various interconnections together, and I transferred some paper scribbles to the first diagram below.


It has changed quite a bit since then!

… … …

Uldis Bojars joined DERI and began work on SIOC in November 2004, and he has been the main driving force behind the project this year… Thanks Uldis!

Categories Semantic Web

4 thoughts on “Origins of SIOC?

  1. You forgot the mention the relationship to SNEACHTA.

  2. Hi John!

    Thanks to both of you guys. I am sure that SIOC will have a major role in the development of the semantic web in the next years.

    Take care,



  3. That’s right – there was a reason for choosing SIOC, since Stefan had already been working on the SNEACHTA proposal (and “sneachta” was the first word learned by Stefan’s kids at school – it’s the Irish word for “snow”), so it seemed cool (sorry, pun) to go with the weather theme!

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