One to watch

I'm having a great time becoming a "twiner" -a user of Nova Spivack's new semantic web application, which is currently in private beta testing. Spivack (Radar Networks, or a "Radarian") calls Twine a knowledge networking app.

As ReadWriteWeb wrote in October, "Nova Spivack has an illustrious history in the Semantic Web and AI business, having worked for both AI legend Ray Kurzweil and tech guru Danny Hillis (Thinking Machines). The genesis for Twine, said Spivack, came from an R&D project about 5 years ago, which turned into a research project, then a Series A round with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2006. As of now the Twine team is 30 people working from San Francisco -- and they're finally ready to unveil their new mainstream Semantic Web product."

Twine uses semantic web technologies like RDF, XSL, OWL and SPARQL.

Last October TechCrunch reported that Radar Networks a "not-so-secret stealth startup" had raised $5 million from Paul Allen, Peter Rip, Ron Conway in April, 2006, and has done work for DARPA.

From TechCrunch: "Once you ingest in all the information you want to organize, Twine applies a semantic analysis to it that creates tags for each document or video or photo. The tags match up to concepts that Twine’s algorithms associate with each piece of content, regardless of whether that concept is specifically mentioned in the Web page or other content being tagged.

For example, you might bookmark this post and Twine would create tags for all the people mentioned in it (Nova Spivack, Paul Allen, Peter Rip, and Ron Conway). It would also create tags for the organizations related to the post, such as Radar Networks and DARPA, but also Paul Allen’s venture firm Vulcan Capital—even if Vulcan was never mentioned in the post.

What Twine does is automatically generate smart tags and connect them together. There is also a social element. If you share a Twine with others, each piece of content that someone brings into that online space is associated with that person. So when you do a search, the results that come back are influenced not just by the tags, but also by who put the information into the Twine in the first place. “It’s the wisdom of crowds plus the wisdom of computers working together,” says Spivack. The more closely related that person is to you, the higher the relevance. At the same time, Twine is creating a very detailed profile of your interests which it hopes to run highly targeted ads against."
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