Wednesday, February 25, 2004


When I was writing about identity sharing yesterday, I had completely missed Stephen's vision for The Semantic Social Network. Actually I had seen it, but admittedly much of this stuff goes right over my head when I'm busy. Acronyms and tech-speak tend to make my eyes glaze over, but his entry about LiveJournal and FOAF woke me up today.

FOAF (Friend of a Friend) might be one of those acronyms that I'd usually ignore, but it may be exactly the kind of thing I was trying to describe at the end of my last post. If students could create their future plans in an online planning portfolio, that data could easily be exported into a FOAF profile which could be used in all sorts of interesting ways. On the academic side, it could be combined with the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) to communicate with school's student information systems.

Let's say we aligned our portfolios with those frameworks and a student "completed" their portfolio. Their academic data could then be exported to SIS using SIF (whichever data the school wanted) and the things the kids cared about could be exported to a LiveJournal account, or saved in a FOAF file that could be read by other social software systems: IM, ICQ, Friendster, or any online community that supported the format.

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