It’s been said that I’ve called Google Plus “one of the subtlest and most user-friendly ontology development systems we’ve ever seen.” I did, and you can listen for yourselves on the Semantic Link podcast.
Why did I do so? Well, G+ follows some of the basic principles of linked data: it uses persistent HTTP URIs for people, Sparks (concepts) and posts. It allows you to indicate a relationship between to entities and give that relationship a type. It collects, and types, attributes about entities from the expected experts – the entities themselves. This is a “Field Trial,” so basic is just about all we should expect. Given the reported adoption rates, I think it’s made a pretty good start.
Let’s take those points one at a time, with pictures.
Persistent URIs for People
Everyone with a G+ account gets assigned a random string of numbers as their unique identifier. If you wish to discover yours, hover over your name and look to the status bar. If you want an easier way to copy & paste it, then visit profiles.google.com/yourusername and you will be redirected to your numerical equivalent, on your “posts” tab. Why not use the name you’ve indicated on your account as your identifier? Simply put, names change. A traditional example is marriage – one or both parties to the marriage usually change their name. Rather than managing the complex process of deprecation and subsumption of changing labels (names), a random unique identifier is used. This identifier is persistent. It also helps protect users by hiding their presumed email address and account usernames from spammers and crackers. You can swap out “posts” for any of your G+ tabs to see publicly available content: Posts, About, Photos, Videos, Buzz.
Continues @ http://semanticweb.com