Brighton SWTT meeting agenda

WORKSHOP 2, 30 November 2006

Social Software and the User Experience of the Semantic Web

Venue: 24 Hour Museum, Brighton

Office 4, Lighthouse Arts and Training Ltd

28 Kensington Street

Brighton BN1 4AJ


The intended outcomes of this invitation-only workshop are:

-to negotiate the tensions and opportunities for user-driven social technologies and the semantic web concept in the cultural sector. Are they conflicting or complementary approaches?

-to explore the emerging user models from Social Networking Software and Web 2.0 technologies in the cultural sector;

-to identify the potential and extent of user involvement in the development of a cultural semantic web;

-to identify processes and practices that might need to be developed to enable cultural-sector bodies to engage with semantically ‘enhanced/structured’ user-generated content


9.30-10.00: Arrival and coffee

10.00 – 10.30 Round-table introductions (all) and take-homes from Glasgow (Ross Parry)

10.30-11.00 Social software in the museum sector (Jeremy Keith and Jon Pratty)

In this session we’ll be examining Social Software: what is it? What are the key/important/relevant applications to the cultural or museum sectors? What are the underlying concepts? What is the technology involved?

11.00-11.30 Users and user experiences facilitate discussion about users – who are they? (Areti Galani and Angelina Russo) This strand of discussion explores questions about users and user experiences in semantic and social networking contexts. Who are they? Creators and/or consumers of cultural content?

Who are the likely users of the semantic web of the future? What are the emerging user groupings? Are we making assumptions in our definitions of user groupings and can we sense some ambiguities? In the light of web 2.0, are there changes in the nature of user experience: is it becoming ephemeral, opportunistic? What user models are emerging from Web 2.0? Is a semantic web approach more suitable for specific types of engagement with content such as task-driven activities?

11.30-12.30 To close the morning we’ll have an open discussion about themes and challenges (Jon Pratty and Areti Galani)

We’ll consider:

How does the SW relate to the user? Retrieving information and the SW. How does the SW relate to social software? Folksonomies/tags and the SW. Is it possible to involve the user in the development of a cultural semantic web and what does this involve? What are the existing barriers to use? How transparent should Semantic Web technologies and approaches be to users?

12.30-1.15 Lunch and coffee in the boardroom

1.15 – 2.15 Strand 1 – Semantic social technologies in more detail. Microformats, semantic blogs and wikis, tagging as semantics, syndication, discovery tools, and so on. Chaired by Mike Lowndes

Jeremy Keith will demonstrate one or two of the current applications. Questions the group could consider here could revolve around the ‘compatibility’ of SW and semantic social applications. Are there technical challenges? One semantic web or many semantic webs?

2.15 – 3.15 Strand 2 – Exploring emerging funding and infrastructure challenges and opportunities. If a semantic web means easier access that is free at the – distributed – point of use, how do we fund the necessary infrastructure? Does a semantic web approach offer different opportunities for monetization, or new business models? Chaired by Nick Poole

3.15 – 4.00 Reflections: relating the day’s workshop back to the Thinktank’s wider programme and connecting to the next event (Newcastle) on e-learning. We will be asking each participant for their feedback and views. (Jon Pratty)

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