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Using the Semantic Web to Fuel Social Change

ViewChange.org is using the power of the latest Web technology to make videos, articles, blogs, and actions readily available to people working in global development. While watching high-impact video stories on the site, viewers can choose to dig deeper by exploring up-to-date details on which organizations are involved, links to related content, and lists of relevant actions they can take.

For example, imagine you are watching a short documentary about clean water issues in India. As the video plays, adjacent windows will dynamically generate links to actions and media directly related to each scene. These could include organizations involved in clean water and sanitation, action campaigns related to water issues, relevant videos from YouTube, articles from research organizations, and the latest updates from news services and blogs.

The site will automatically create these links using semantic Web tools. Rather than simply scanning for keywords, this new technology also analyzes context and meaning to find the most relevant results from all the latest information and links available. It will also employ the Linked Data model, which assigns unique identifier tags to specific "entities" and organizes data in ways that can be read and understood by other applications. This allows the site to easily differentiate whether the word "Sahara" is being used to refer to the desert in North Africa or a hotel-casino in Las Vegas, and to communicate about the correct topic with other websites that hold related information.

By tapping into the semantic Web, the Linked Data model, and partner APIs, ViewChange.org is taking the latest advances in online technology and harnessing them for social change.

Our Partners

We created the working model for ViewChange.org by fostering relationships with semantic technology innovators such as OpenCalais and Zemanta. We are also actively experimenting with the open APIs of sites like YouTube and Kiva.org.  


Link TV's long-term Web development partner Definition is responsible for building the platform and will utilize Freebase, Zemanta, OpenCalais, and other APIs help to provide an innovative customizable user experience.


The user interface is being designed by Method, the award-winning interactive design firm behind innovative media sites such as Fancast.com and TED.com.


Open Source Principles

In addition, ViewChange.org will feature an open API, inviting third-party sites and developers to create applications and pages fueled by our content. This API will feed into the Linked Data model, a concept already embraced by publishers such as the New York Times. The code behind the platform will be made freely available. ViewChange.org is an open system because at Link TV we believe that openness leads to more innovation and value for everyone.


Further Reading

W3Schools Semantic Web Tutorial
Structured web primer from Read Write Web
Semantic Web Patterns: A Guide to Semantic Technologies from Read Write Web
Top 5 Web Trends of 2009: Structured Data from Read Write Web
See the semantic web in action with Zemanta's online demo
New York Times embraces Linked Data