The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project


Friends of a Friend

The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project is creating a Web of machine-readable pages describing people, the links between them and the things they create and do. The FOAF project began early in 2000 as an experimental linked information project, created by Dan Brickley and Libby Miller.

The primary technical documentation for the core FOAF vocabulary is the FOAF specification. The FOAF Wiki and documentation webpages provide more informations about the project.

airbnb : a community marketplace for unique spaces

airbnb website

Airbnb connects people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Guests can build real connections with their hosts, gain access to distinctive spaces, and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations. Whether it’s an urban apartment or countryside castle, Airbnb makes it effortless to showcase your space to an audience of millions, and to find the right space at any price point, anywhere.

The following topics are published ont the Airbnb website: about, news, blog, golden rules, testimonials, press, safety, founding team, contact, help, affiliates.

Twitgoo and Twistori

Twitgoo is a quick, easy, reliable, and safe way to share images for Twitter. Twitgoo is operated by Photobucket Inc. which is an image and video sharing service that allows Users to store images and videos and share them across the internet and create unique personal profiles online. Twitgoo allows Users to upload images and videos and associate them with a unique URL to create online access to the images and videos for themselves and others.

A Twitgoo application for the Chumby has been developped by Andrew Howie (howdog) from Sydney.

Another Chumby app based on Twitter is Twistori, a first step in an ongoing social experiment, inspired by wefeelfine, hand-crafted by Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs.

Virtual Chumby

Chumby is a content platform that serves flash-based apps across mutiple devices. Current chumby devices include :

  • Chumby 8
  • Classic Chumby
  • Chumby One
  • Sony Dash
  • Insignia Infocast
  • Chumby for Android

The Chumby Dashboard allows to create channels and to add apps to the channels. The display time per app can be customized (from a few seconds to a few minutes or forever). The channels can be selected on the Chumby device and the apps are shown sequentially.

A virtual chumby is a chumby that plays on any computer like a real chumby — except it’s doing it in cyberspace. The only difference with the virtual chumby is that it won’t show certain apps to protect your privacy.

The following virtual Chumby shows the channel marco from my Chumby account.


Google Plus

On june 28, 2011, Google rolled out a new social networking service called Google+. Right now, Google+ is in limited field trial to test with a small number of people, but it won’t be long before the Google+ project is ready for everyone.

Basically, Google+ is an amalgamation of the following services :

  • Circles groups your friends together
  • Sparks helps you find interesting content based on interest
  • Hangouts lets you video chat with all your buddies
  • Huddles is a new group messaging app
  • Instant Upload shares your mobile photos

Further informations are available at the following links :

Piwik : open source Web Analytics

Piwik Dashboard

Piwik, an open source alternative to Google Analytics, is a downloadable, open source (GPL licensed) real time web analytics software program. It provides you with detailed reports on your website visitors: the search engines and keywords they used, the language they speak, your popular pages, …

Piwik is a PHP MySQL program that is installed your own webserver. At the end of a five minute installation process, a JavaScript code is generated that you embed in the webpages you want to track.

Facebook URL Linter and Insights

The Facebook URL linter is a tool that helps you to debug Open Graph webpages, pages with embedded like button or with other social plugins.

The Open Graph Protocol Open Source Community developped other tools and parsers for php, java, python, ruby, json to check Open Graph webpages.

It’s even possible to see how many URL’s of pages that are not part of the Facebook Open Graph have been shared by using the API request :

More details are provided by the API request,%20like_count,%20comment_count,%20total_count,%20click_count%20

Insights provides analytics on a Facebook Page, app and website. The Insights Dashboard makes it easy to see how Facebook users are interacting with your content, and the Insights APIs allow developers to obtain additional statistics and integrate the data with third party reporting systems.

Pagerank, Content Farms, Search Quality and Black Hat SEO

Last update : June 29, 2013
PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page and used by the Google Internet search engine, that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents. PageRank has been patented; the patent is assigned to Stanford University and exclusively licensed to Google.

The PageRank of a website is shown in the Google toolbar. The PageRank score was however removed by Google in October 2009 from the Webmaster Tools, because Google has been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much. PageRank is not an important metric for search engine optimisation.

Several providers continue to find the  PageRank data useful and offer free PageRank checkers, for instance at the website

The term content farm is used to describe a company that employs large numbers of often freelance writers to generate large amounts of textual content which is specifically designed to satisfy algorithms for maximal retrieval by automated search engines. Their main goal is to generate advertising revenue through attracting reader page views. Critics allege that content farms provide relatively low quality content.

Search engines see content farms as a problem, as they tend to bring the user to less relevant and lower quality results of the search. On February 24th, 2011, Google announced that they were making a substantial change in their ranking algorithms to purge low-quality informations in the search results.

A black hat is the bad guy in a western movie. In computing slang it refers to a computer hacker. Black Hat search engine optimization is defined as techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner. Some of these techniques are keyword stuffing, invisible (hidden) text, cloaking, duplicate content and doorway pages.

Further informations about the Google search algorithms are available at the scriptol website.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Trackbacks were originally developed by SixApart, creators of the MovableType blog package. It’s a notification method between websites working as follows :

  • Person A writes something on their blog.
  • Person B wants to comment on Person A’s blog, but wants her own readers to see what she had to say, and be able to comment on her own blog
  • Person B posts on her own blog and sends a trackback to Person A’s blog
  • Person A’s blog receives the trackback, and displays it as a comment to the original post. This comment contains a link to Person B’s post

Most trackbacks send to Person A only a small portion (a teaser called an “excerpt”) of what Person B had to say. One problem is that there is no actual verification performed on the incoming trackback, and indeed they can even be faked.

Pingbacks were designed to solve some of the problems of trackbacks. The official pingback documentation is available on the website

The best way to think about pingbacks is as remote comments:

  • Person A posts something on his blog.
  • Person B posts on her own blog, linking to Person A’s post. This automatically sends a pingback to Person A when both have pingback enabled blogs.
  • Person A’s blog receives the pingback, then automatically goes to Person B’s post to confirm that the pingback did, in fact, originate there.

There are two significant differences between pingbacks and trackbacks : pingbacks and trackbacks use drastically different communication technologies (XML-RPC and HTTP POST, respectively) and pingbacks do not send any content.

A useful guide “Introduction to Blogging” with more details about trackbacks and pingbacks is published by WordPress.