New tool for journalists is unveiled

Thursday, October 23, 2008

By: Allison McNeal

Journalists use a variety of tasks and functions to get the inside scoop on a story.

Since many companies use different tactics, organizations like the World Wide Web Consortum (W3C) have started to develop semantic tools and language to integrate these functions.

Web 3.0 recently was introduced to showcase semantic tools, which are applications that are used to show different formats and can be understood by new applications that are used in reporting.

"The semantic web is an engineering solution that will allow [new applications] to be meshed and available for use by machines globally," said.

With this new tool, projects like OpenID, Friend of a Friend, and Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities have started to open up.

OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different Web sites, and allows users to have control of their login.

Businesses also benefit by allowing a lower cost of password and account management, while drawing in new web traffic.

Friend of a Friend gives makes it easier to share and use information about people and their activities like photos, calendars, and weblogs.

It also can be used to transfer information between Web sites and to automatically extend, merge, and reuse it online.

Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities can be used to enable community sites to merge their data and enables new kinds of usage scenarios for online community site data.

This organization also allows innovative semantic applications to be built on top of the existing social World Wide Web.

According to, an individual could do a search on Facebook and get results back from within that site, but also blog results from Technorati, comments from Flickr albums, and YouTube videos.

"In the semantic web, it is not just people who are connected together in some meaningful way, but documents, events, places, hobbies, pictures, you name it!" said John Breslin, the founder of the Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities project. "And it is the commercial applications that exploit these connections that are now becoming interesting."

Even though these corporations believe that the Internet will allow individuals and different systems to interact with each other, will consumers want to embrace this new tool?

If a consumer searches Facebook or MySpace, will they want to be have results pop up from other Web sites?

While there may be no clear answer, only journalists and consumers will have to put this new tool to the test in the months and years to come.


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