Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities

Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities Project (SIOC - pronounced "shock") is a Semantic Web technology. SIOC provides methods for interconnecting discussion methods such as blogs, forums and mailing lists to each other. It consists of the SIOC ontology, an open-standard machine readable format for expressing the information contained both explicitly and implicitly in Internet discussion methods, of SIOC metadata producers for a number of popular blogging platforms and content management systems, and of storage and browsing/searching systems for leveraging this SIOC data.

The SIOC vocabulary is based on RDF and is defined using RDFS. SIOC documents may use other existing ontologies to enrich the information described. Additional information about the creator of the post can be described using FOAF Vocabulary and the foaf:maker property. Rich content of the post (e.g., an HTML representation) can be described using the AtomOWL or RSS 1.0 Content module.

The SIOC project was started in 2004 by John Breslin and Uldis Bojars at DERI, NUI Galway. In 2007, SIOC became a W3C Member Submission.

The SIOC project logo.


<sioc:Post rdf:about="">
    <dc:title>Creating connections between discussion clouds with SIOC</dc:title>
    <sioc:has_container rdf:resource=""/>
        <sioc:UserAccount rdf:about="" rdfs:label="Cloud">
            <rdfs:seeAlso rdf:resource=""/>
    <foaf:maker rdf:resource=""/>
    <sioc:content>SIOC provides a unified vocabulary for content and interaction description: a semantic layer that can co-exist with existing discussion platforms.
    <sioc:topic rdfs:label="Semantic Web" rdf:resource=""/>
    <sioc:topic rdfs:label="Blogs" rdf:resource=""/>
        <sioc:Post rdf:about="">
            <rdfs:seeAlso rdf:resource=""/>

Implementations and applications

Here are some of the concrete implementations and applications that produce and/or use SIOC data.

Creating SIOC data

Using SIOC data

SIOC utilities


See also

Further reading

External links

Digital Enterprise Research Institute

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is a former research institute at NUI Galway. It is now part of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. Insight was established in 2013 by Science Foundation Ireland with funding of €75m.DERI's focus is research into the Semantic Web and linked data. It was originally established as a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland. Additional funding sources were EU Framework Programs, Enterprise Ireland, IRCSET, and industry.

FOAF (ontology)

FOAF (an acronym of friend of a friend) is a machine-readable ontology describing persons, their activities and their relations to other people and objects. Anyone can use FOAF to describe themselves. FOAF allows groups of people to describe social networks without the need for a centralised database.

FOAF is a descriptive vocabulary expressed using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL). Computers may use these FOAF profiles to find, for example, all people living in Europe, or to list all people both you and a friend of yours know. This is accomplished by defining relationships between people. Each profile has a unique identifier (such as the person's e-mail addresses, international telephone number, Facebook account name, a Jabber ID, or a URI of the homepage or weblog of the person), which is used when defining these relationships.

The FOAF project, which defines and extends the vocabulary of a FOAF profile, was started in 2000 by Libby Miller and Dan Brickley. It can be considered the first Social Semantic Web application, in that it combines RDF technology with 'social web' concerns.Tim Berners-Lee, in a 2007 essay, redefined the semantic web concept into the Giant Global Graph, where relationships transcend networks and documents. He considers the GGG to be on equal ground with the Internet and the World Wide Web, stating that "I express my network in a FOAF file, and that is a start of the revolution."

John Breslin

John Breslin (born 1973 in Dublin) is an Irish engineer and senior lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His research publications have focused on the Social Semantic Web, and he co-authored two books on this topic in 2009 and 2015. He has served as secretary of the American Council on Exercise since 2017.

In 2015, Breslin co-founded the Galway City Innovation District to create startup-friendly spaces in downtown Galway. The first space, the PorterShed, is a refurbished former Guinness building that opened to startups in April 2016.In 2011, Breslin was announced as a co-founder of StreamGlider, a visual real-time dashboard for tracking interests across various types of devices, along with Nova Spivack and Bill McDaniel.In 2010, Breslin set up the New Tech Post, an online technology publisher. A San Jose office for the New Tech Post was announced by Breslin in March 2011.In 2007, Breslin met the Collison brothers while Patrick was studying at MIT, and came up with the name for their first company, 'Shuppa', during a brainstorming session over dinner.In 2006, Breslin co-founded, an online classified ads website and spin-off from was acquired in a joint venture by Distilled Media Group and Schibsted Media Group in 2015.In 2004, while working as a researcher at DERI, Breslin founded the Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) project, a Semantic Web framework for sharing social data and used in web applications such as Yahoo! SearchMonkey, Drupal 7 and the Newsweek website.In 1998, Breslin set up an Internet forum to discuss video games which evolved into, one of Ireland's largest indigenous websites. He was awarded Net Visionary awards by the Irish Internet Association in 2005 and 2006.

Resource Description Framework

The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a family of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications originally designed as a metadata data model. It has come to be used as a general method for conceptual description or modeling of information that is implemented in web resources, using a variety of syntax notations and data serialization formats. It is also used in knowledge management applications.

RDF was adopted as a W3C recommendation in 1999. The RDF 1.0 specification was published in 2004, the RDF 1.1 specification in 2014.

Semantic Web

The Semantic Web is an extension of the World Wide Web through standards by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The standards promote common data formats and exchange protocols on the Web, most fundamentally the Resource Description Framework (RDF). According to the W3C, "The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries". The Semantic Web is therefore regarded as an integrator across different content, information applications and systems.

The term was coined by Tim Berners-Lee for a web of data (or data web) that can be processed by machines—that is, one in which much of the meaning is machine-readable. While its critics have questioned its feasibility, proponents argue that applications in library and information science, industry, biology and human sciences research have already proven the validity of the original concept.Berners-Lee originally expressed his vision of the Semantic Web as follows:

I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A "Semantic Web", which makes this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The "intelligent agents" people have touted for ages will finally materialize.

The 2001 Scientific American article by Berners-Lee, Hendler, and Lassila described an expected evolution of the existing Web to a Semantic Web. In 2006, Berners-Lee and colleagues stated that: "This simple idea…remains largely unrealized".

In 2013, more than four million Web domains contained Semantic Web markup.

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