Garlik Launches FOAF Services

The FOAF space got a whole lot more interesting yesterday, when Garlik released two FOAF services under their QDOS umbrella. The first is effectively a viewer on FOAF data crawled from across the Web. Have a look at the data about Danny Ayers to see it in action.

As far as I can tell, having looked very briefly yesterday (the QDOS site is down at the moment for maintenance), the second service will use the collected social network data to enable services such as blog comment whitelisting based on connections in the graph, presumably in the manner used by the DIG blog at MIT.

For some reason I find this service much more exciting than the Google Social Graph API. Perhaps it’s because the first incarnation of the SG API obviously didn’t get FOAF, and claimed that Mischa Tuffield was trying to steal my identity (presumably because he had a fragment of RDF about me in his FOAF file). The SG API does seem to have improved (I can’t replicate the original bug), and is useful for finding who still links to my FOAF in its old location, but I’m still more drawn to what Garlik have to offer. Perhaps it’s because I trust them to do it right,; whilst there are currently errors in the output about me (John Domingue and I are apparently the same person), I know exactly where the error comes from, and it’s human. Perhaps it’s because the Social Graph API feels polluted by XFN.

As yet there don’t seem to be any actual APIs or machine-friendly services offered by Garlik over this FOAF data, and with the site being down I can’t hunt around for these. Requesting different content types from the site doesn’t have any effect either, but knowing the people behind Garlik there’ll be some interesting stuff on its way. Full SPARQL over FOAF data would be nice 😉 Either way, this could well be the trigger for large-scale updating of people’s FOAF files, something which is long overdue, my own included.

Update: The QDOS site came back up shortly after I posted this. The second service is broadly as described above. It’s called the “Social Verification” service. Tom Ilube from Garlik talks about this in some more detail in Issue 2 of Nodalities Magazine.

1 Response to “Garlik Launches FOAF Services”

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