Towards a Lightweight User-Centered Content Syndication Architecture







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Towards a Lightweight User-Centered Content Syndication


- Beyond Personal Information Management

- Beyond Closed Community Platforms

Berliner XML Tage 2005


Vanda Lehel, Florian Matthes and Sheng Wei

Software Engineering betrieblicher Informationssysteme (sebis) Ernst Denert-Stiftungslehrstuhl

Lehrstuhl für Informatik 19 Institut für Informatik

TU München




„ Social Software

„ Open Protocols and Standards

†User-Centered Social Software (UCSS)

†Content Syndication Architecture

„ Social Software Services

„ Syndication Architecture for UCSS

†Challenges and Implementations


Approaches to Information Management

Enterprise-Centered Perspective User-Centered Perspective Team-Centered Perspective Social Software Enterprise Software Groupware Semantic Web Weblogs

What is social software?

Social software allows

individuals to form different

communities to connect or to

collaborate with each other


Social Software

Instant Messenger – Instant Messaging Service (also audio, video)

Internet Relay Chat – Chat Room Service

Internet Forums – Bulletin Board Service

Wikis – Wiki Server Software

Weblogs (Blogs) – Weblog Services (also photo blogs, video blogs, audio blogs)

Social Networks (Social Networking Services) – popular examples:

†LinkedIn (, OpenBC (, Friendster, …

Object-Centered Social Software (Social Bookmarking Services) - popular examples:

† ( bookmark sharing

†Flickr ( photo sharing

†CiteULike ( bibliographic reference sharing


Social Networking Services (

Individual Benefits †Make social network explicit †Identify interesting new contacts †Assess quality of contact requests †Not bound to current employer Network Benefit †Establish web of trust Public Profile Private Profile Personal Contact


Object-Centered Social Software (

Individual Benefits

†Access own bookmarks from


†Learn about interesting new

content (for specific topic)

†Find people through content

†Assess relevance of content

Network Benefit

†Establish shared vocabularies

Bookmark: Title, Description, Date, Tags, Bookmark Creator

Relevance ~ Citation Frequency

No “controlled” vocabulary

Easy Sharing Easy Sharing URLs easy to remember


High-End Weblog: Joi Ito‘s Web (

Individual Benefits †Easy publishing of content †Frequent updates †Chronologic archiving †Comment and feedback from readers †Subscription to content †Notification services Network Benefit †Integration of social bookmarking services

Integration with social bookmarking services Local and remote


Notification services for updates


Open Protocols and Standards in Social Software

Storage Publishing Interchange Network Protocols Network Payload


XML-based Microformats Networking

‡Content syndication

formats, e.g. RSS, RDF, Atom

‡Semantic formats, e.g.


‡Metadata formats, e.g.

Dublin Core, XMP, IPTC standards

‡Formats for resource

collection, e.g. OPML

‡Formats for resource

relationship, e.g. FOAF

‡xFolk for bookmark


‡XFN for human


‡GeoURL for locations

‡hCalendar for calendar


‡hCard for address books

‡XOXO for outlines and

Blogroll-like subscriptions

‡relTag for tags,

keywords, categories

‡XMDP for metadata


‡Network protocols &

architecture styles, e.g. SOAP, XML-RPC,


‡XML-related APIs, e.g.

Blogger API,

MetaWeblog API, Atom API

‡Proprietary formats and

APIs, e.g. Technorati API, Flickr API


What Are the Limitations?

An Example for Enabling Relationships – Expert Finding


Extraction type Supporting technologies


Author-created relationships • Blogrolls • Friends on social networking sites • FOAF • Social Network • XFN

Linking is the only one that's always unambiguously machine-readable.


Observable relationships

• Comments • Trackbacks • Link logs

• Links in blog entries • Reverse-lookups • Popularity indexes

• Social network analysis • Semantic Web??


Towards User-Centered Social Software

Enterprise-Centered Portals 2000+ Object-Centered Social Software 2005+

Multiple roles and contexts at once Open content formats and web protocols Tidal wave of digital micro-content


User-Centered Social Software Architecture

ICQ SO AP Sync Sync Syn c PDA Lap top PC RSS HTTP SM TP FO AF Community Plattform Content Services Community Plattform Community Plattform User-Centered Social Software 20??

Changing roles over time Contexts travel with content


Concepts of User-Centered Social Software

†Content: different types of personal information objects

„ private content: personal information systems

„ content published: community systems

†Contacts: different peers in the social context of the user to share personal information with

„ RSS subscribers, trusted domains or buddies

†Context: links together content and contacts, defines how objects are shared

„ users publish and share content Æ context travels with content

Organize your content in a social way

give feedback learn get feedback


Content Syndication Architecture for UCSS

So cial Software Se rv ice

<<De skto p>>

So cial So ftware Se rv ice

So cial So ftware Se rv ice

So cial So ftw are Serv ice

So cial So ftware Serv ice

So cial So ftware Serv ice So cial Organ ize r

Inbox Outb ox <<HTTP>> Personal Information Repository . . . . . . Content Context Contact . . . . . . S1 . . . . . . S2 . . . . . . Sn . . . . . . . . . . . . Sn+1 . . . . . . Sn+2 . . . . . . Sm <<HTTP>>

Content feed (RSS, Atom, RSS enclosure)

Comment feed (RSS, Atom) Tag feed (RSS, Atom)

Related content (OPML, FOAF)

Sub s c rip ti on Ser v ices

Local Comments (Comment API) Remote Comments, (Trackback, Pingback) Feed ba ck Serv ic es Social Software Services Pu bl icat io n Serv ic es Content publishing (Blogger API, Atom API) Link publishing Tag publishing Man a ge m e n t Serv ic es Administration with proprietary API (Flickr API, Atom API)

Comment notification, (Trackback, Pingback)


XML-based Content Syndication Architecture

†Diverse decentralized network

†Remixable web (applications)

†An intermediation architecture which provides the capabilities to intermediate

constitutional services and applications.

†Using unified interfaces to invoke services

†Triples-oriented data model (learned from semantic web)

†Collaborative knowledge flow and controlled information sharing

†Information awareness /notification

†Semantic search

†Classification (Folksonomy tagging, paragraph-level tagging, rating……) vs. logical


Major Challenges

† How to organize infomation objects?

„ Multiple community platforms

„ Rich infomation (Content, Contact, Context)

„ What relationships and how to represent

„ Simple and extensible formats

„ Views

„ Analysis according to relationships (discovery)

† How to communicate / exchange information (syndication) in a unified view

„ More delivery mechanisms, e.g. XMPP (Jabber), HTTP, NNTP

„ Diverse formats, e.g. RSS, Atom, Microformat

„ Different APIs, e.g. XML-RPC, REST

† Architecture implementation

„ Abstract model for services



† The delivery of the first version is scheduled in second half 2005 (open source??)

† 3 versions of UI

„ Rich client, i.e. SWT/JFace „ Thin client, i.e. Ajax??

„ Rich Internet Application (RIA), i.e. Macromedia Flex

† Integration with current popular soical software services, e.g. Weblog,, Flickr, Technorati

† Integration with Microsoft Enterprise Systems, e.g. Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint

† Integration with PIM tools, e.g. Outlook, SharpReader,


Florian Matthes - Social Organizer

Florian Matthes - Social Organizer

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Summary & Outlook

†User-Centered Social Software as an extension of Personal Information


†Organizing content in a social way by the Social Organizer tool






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