Category Archives: WebCamp

Tales from the SIOC-o-sphere #7

20080403a.png It’s been three months since my last round-up of all things SIOC-ed, so here is entry number seven in the series:

Previous SIOC-o-sphere articles:



BlogTalk 2008 Summary

Well, I’ve been on a well-deserved break (in my opinion anyway!) for the past two weeks so it’s time that I caught up with all the stuff I’ve only been tweeting about in the meantime…

Picture by Paul Downey.

First up, it’s a summary of BlogTalk (and WebCamp). Actually, a lot of people have blogged about the event, including Martha Rotter (who has a great overview), Mark Bernstein (with some valid criticisms regarding the conference’s focus that we need to look at; see also Mark’s vidcast), Salim Ismail, Stephanie Booth (1 , 2; thanks for the videos!), Will Knott, Phil Whitehouse (1, 2), Jure Cuhalev, Jan Schmidt, Donncha O Caoimh, Sven Latham, Ben Ward, and Gabriela Avram (1, 2, 3, 4).

But I’ll add to these voices by saying that I was very pleased with how things went: the atmosphere was quite relaxed (at least, outside the confines of my own head), and the size was probably just right (sometimes you can’t plan these things). Although we had about 110-115 registrants, there were about 80-85 present at any one time, and I think the audience felt comfortable with posing questions to speakers (and to each other) which led to more interactive sessions than there may have been otherwise. The panel discussions also went quite well, and I hope that we will have more of these in future events. As regards next year’s conference, we have had an interesting offer to host the event in Korea. We are also looking at Seville for BlogTalk 2010.

Unfortunately, I incorrectly thought that Intruders.TV would be recording the talks from the event, but some entrepreneuring attendees managed to video some of the talks using a combination of webcams and cameras (see the videos and slides page for those that we’ve managed to gather so far; if you have any more, please let us know; I believe Intruders.TV will have interviews with some of our speakers later). You can also view an assortment of photos via Flickr.

On behalf of the programme chairs for BlogTalk 2008, I would like to thank all of the participants at the conference, our invited speakers, the presenters, our reviewers, the excellent hotel staff, and especially our sponsors (without whom the fees would have significantly increased since they paid for two thirds of our almost €30k budget). Finally, I would like to ask attendees if they would be so kind as to complete our post-conference survey here.

WebCamp SNP and BlogTalk 2008 approacheth…

I’m in Cork with a posse of eight from DERI, and it’s the night before two co-located events: the WebCamp workshop on social network portability (Sunday) and the BlogTalk conference on social software (Monday, Tuesday). Others that have arrived in Cork this evening include Niall Larkin, Ajit Jaokar, Aral Balkan, Ben Ward, Dan Brickley, Ross Duggan and Stephanie Booth.

I’m really looking forward to the talks, the discussions, the networking, the food, and some positive outcomes from the next three days. And with invited speakers of this quality, I know it’s going to be good.

Unfortunately, I’m missing the Irish Blog Awards for the second year running, but‘s Managing Director Gerry Shanahan is representing us as a sponsor. At least I hope to meet up with many of the bloggers at tomorrow night’s optional blogger’s dinner at Rossini’s here in Cork (43 people have signed up).

More blog posts about the events will be available via the tags webcampsnp and blogtalk2008. Here are some recent posts:

Five days left to register online for BlogTalk 2008!

Please note that online registration for BlogTalk 2008 (and WebCamp Social Network Portability) will close next Wednesday, 26th February 2008.

You can register at Amiando.

There are a few discount codes out there.

(Don’t forget to sign up for the optional blogger’s dinner as well!)

Programme announced for BlogTalk 2008

We recently announced the programme schedule for the 5th International Conference on Social Software (and the co-located workshop on social network portability), to be held in Cork in six weeks time. We have an interesting set of keynote speakers and invited panellists so far (with one keynote to be confirmed).


Also, the list of accepted presentations at the conference is varied and interesting, with some familiar faces and some new ones shown below. (In all, we accepted six presentations from practitioners, two from developers and six from academics. We’ve interspersed these in the schedule, but grouped by related topics.)


Finally, I’d like to thank our reviewers, without whose help the selection would have been an impossible task. (The breakdown of our committee was seven academics and 15 non-academics).


If you are interested in participating, I’d advise booking tickets as soon as possible as we do have an upper limit of 200 attendees. We will have a drinks reception in UCC’s Aula Maxima on the Sunday, followed by an optional blogger’s dinner for those interested. On Monday, the main conference dinner will be held in the Kingsley Hotel.

First WebCamp to be held in India (on Web Frameworks for the present and the future)

20080108a.png I’m happy to say that the first WebCamp event in India will be held next month. It is being organised by Prahbu Subramanian, who previously ran the successful PipesCamp event in Chennai last year.

The topic of the workshop is web frameworks for the present and the future. This event will provide an opportunity for interested parties to talk about the web frameworks that they currently use, how a particular framework solved particular real-world problems, which others didn’t provide solutions, how much productivity gain they have produced, etc. There will also be a debate on how to choose the right framework for various common real-world problems (e.g., Rails, Python, ErlyWeb, Java).

If you’re interested in organising your own WebCamp event, you can visit the new Spread WebCamp page to get our CC-licensed logos and the WebCamp Template page for a basic new event layout (inspired by BarCamp)., web standards, SIOC and FOAF

Leo Sauermann has written an e-mail to the public mailing list suggesting that the initiative also takes W3C’s web standards like RDF into account, as well as considering existing efforts like FOAF and SIOC for data portability on the social web. The initiative’s chairperson Chris Saad has indicated that they will put all related communities and standards in context, including RDF (and I assume FOAF and SIOC too).

As co-founder of the SIOC project, I’ve recently been evangelising the fact that SIOC can be used to provide a representation of all content items created by a person (via their user accounts) on various social media sites, and this can be nicely combined with the FOAF profile of that person who holds the associated user accounts (click on the picture below, and see our Internet Computing article for more).


In the image, Bob holds user accounts on various social websites (two shown for clarity, but here’s another view), and via those accounts he creates content items (usually within containers of some sort, e.g., in a bookmark folder, personal weblog, message board or image gallery) on those sites. He should be able to port not only his social graph (in this case, his connections to Alice and Carol), but also his personal containers / sets of content items and perhaps even associated comment replies. The vocabulary terms are shown in dark grey: foaf:knows, sioc:User, etc.

It’d be great if we can get some of the people to come to the WebCamp workshop on Social Network Portability in Cork in March. There are some valuable contributors to the initiative so far including Chris Saad, Ashley Angell, Paul Jones, Chris Messina, Ben Metcalfe, Daniela Barbosa, Phill Morle, Ian Forrester, Shashank Tripathi, Kristopher Tate, Paul Keen, Brian Suda, Emily Chang, Danny Ayers, Marc Canter, Jeremy Keith, Peter Saint-Andre, Robyn Tippins, and Robert Scoble.

Opening up the social graph at the WebCamp workshop on "social network portability"


A WebCamp “Social Network Portability” workshop has been announced to be co-located with BlogTalk on 2nd March 2008. You can view the wiki page for this event.

“Social network portability” is a term that has been used to describe the ability to reuse one’s own profile and contacts across various social networking sites and social media applications. At this workshop, presentations will be combined with breakout sessions to discuss all aspects of portability for social networking sites (including accounts, friends, activities / content, and applications).

Topics of relevance include, but are not limited to, social network centralisation versus decentralisation, OpenSocial, microformats including XHTML Friends Network (XFN) and hCard, authentication and authorisation, OpenID single sign-on, Bloom filters, categorising friends and personas, FOAF, ownership of your published content, SIOC, the OpenFriend format, the Social Network Aggregation Protocol (SNAP), aggregation and privacy, permissions and context, and the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).

You can register for this workshop in conjunction with BlogTalk 2008. If you are interested in speaking or otherwise participating in the workshop, please add your name under the Speakers or Participants headings on the wiki page at