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Social Networking to Support Researchers at Minority Serving Institutions. Marlon Pierce Community Grids Lab Indiana University. Acknowledgements. Geoffrey Fox (PI) Joshua Rosen (Developer) Siddharth Maini (Developer) Part of MSI-CIEC, an NSF OCI CITEAM Funded Project

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Social Networking to Support Researchers at Minority Serving Institutions

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social networking to support researchers at minority serving institutions

Social Networking to Support Researchers at Minority Serving Institutions

Marlon Pierce

Community Grids Lab

Indiana University

  • Geoffrey Fox (PI)
  • Joshua Rosen (Developer)
  • Siddharth Maini (Developer)
  • Part of MSI-CIEC, an NSF OCI CITEAM Funded Project
  • Thanks to Dr. Alex Ramirez of MSI-CIEC for feedback and guidance.
challenges for msi researchers
Challenges for MSI Researchers
  • We need in general a portal/gateway to online community services geared specifically for (MSI) faculty and researchers.
    • Support their communications: identifying solicitations, forming or joining teams, writing proposals, etc.
    • Enable them to identify interesting projects and people.
  • Our general philosophy is that the broad range of Web 2.0 services provides the necessary capabilities
    • MySpaces, Facebook, Flickr, Imagelooop, Google Docs, etc.
  • And you can build on collaboration software
    • Sakai, Moodle, MediaWiki, Drupal, …
  • We concluded that these sorts of collaborations should really be a sophisticated mashup.
shared bookmarking for social networks
Shared Bookmarking for Social Networks
  • Our kernel project is to support tagging and online shared bookmarking.
    • Pioneered by in 2003 (!)
  • Bookmarking services allow you to
    • Share links (URLs) with networks of friends
    • Organize your links by mnemonic tags
    • Find other interesting URLs by popularity (most bookmarked)
    • Find interesting URLs by keywords
  • When used collectively, tags form folksonomies.
    • “Pave the cow paths”
    • Typically about tagged URLs.
    • But also about people who tag.
    • Semantic Web Lesson: everything is a URI.

RSS Feeds

Can Be Click-Tagged. Additional feeds easy to make with OpenKapow’s Robomaker.

tag cloud and favorite tags
Tag Cloud and Favorite Tags

Favorite Tags

Tag Cloud of Everything

recent tags
Recent Tags

Gives a list of most recent additions.

Recent Tags

Not very well


drag and drop feature
Drag and Drop Feature

You can Drag and Drop any menu items between left and right navigational menu


Flex, etc

drag drop
Drag / Drop

Dragged Recent Tags

tag system
Tag System
  • URLs are bookmarked by users
  • Users describe these bookmarks with descriptive tags
  • These tag/bookmark relationships form a graph that can be navigated
    • Tag Yahoo with “search”
    • If you look up “search”, Google has the same tag.
    • Google is also tagged with “video”…
  • Walk the graph through the Internet, or through databases (as we will see)
personal tags
Personal Tags

Personal User Tags

bookmark drag or right click
Bookmark (drag or right-click)

Personalized Bookmarklet when you Login appears

Either Drag it into the Bookmark menu in Firefox or Right-click and “Book this Link”


Click the Bookmarklet button

Example tags:

algore nobel peace prize

Assign tags and Submit Query


Searching the tag “research” gives a list of other users with this tag.

Click the user name to navigate to the profile.

harvesting nsf tags

Harvesting NSF Tags

Harvesting NSF information to seed the system with relevant proposal information.

populating tags with nsf grant information
Populating Tags with NSF Grant Information
  • The NSF Awards web site is a good source for data to import and convert into tags
  • We believe tagging will add value.
    • Tagging gives you alternative paths through database.
      • Walk a graph
    • Tagging bridges multiple resources (databases, URLs, etc).
    • Ex: TeraGrid user database has overlap with on OCI users.
nsf grants tag system
NSF Grants Tag System
  • NSF has the ability to get information on all of the grants a particular person worked on (in XML)
  • We downloaded, parsed, and bookmarked this info using a little scavenger robot.
    • Each grant is represented by a bookmark and tagged (using namespaces) with relevant information
    • Grant tags point to URLs of the NSF award page.
  • The investigators are imported as users
  • Each has a bookmark for each project they worked on
    • They are also represented in the tags of these projects.
tags and urls form graphs
Tags and URLs Form Graphs


Bookmark (URL)

User (URI)

nsf tag system example
NSF Tag System Example

A. Einstein

Joe Smith

John Doe

John Doe

Large Award

Grant 1

Grant 2

Joe Smith

John Doe

A. Einstein

sbe directorate

Small Award

nsf tag navigation
NSF Tag Navigation

You can start at a user or a grant

You find “which grants has this user worked on” or “which users worked on this grant”

In this way, you can find users by crawling from user to grant and vice versa

Also, you can use the tags to narrow your search (e.g. only large awards, only a certain directorate)

We are working on a system to use tags to successively refine searches.

looking forward tagging profiles folksonomies and matchmaking
Looking Forward: Tagging Profiles, Folksonomies, and Matchmaking
  • Social bookmarking sites are generally geared toward managing URLs.
  • But you can also use it to find like-minded people with shared tagging profiles.
    • Ex:
  • More direct social networking: LinkedIn, Facebook,
  • Tag clustering can also be investigated as a CS problem:
    • Clustering, machine learning
more information
More Information
  • Current portal will debut at SC07
    • General bookmarking and NSF grant information tagging.
    • RSS Feeds and “click tagging”
future work matchmaking and graphs
Future Work: Matchmaking and Graphs
  • Now that we have a substantial amount of tags, we can investigate graph operations.
  • These are classic CS problems in clustering and machine learning.
  • We hope in this way to build recommendation systems:
    • Find other users with similar research interests (tagging profiles).
    • Potentially interesting to tie this to scholarly journal search engines.
third party software
Third Party Software

Connotea used as a backing bookmark manager.


- A javascript framework incorporating animation effects and ajax functionality.

- Used in interface for animations and page loading


- PHP framework to facilitate uses of xml, databases, and various other functions

- Used to interface with database


- Being used for advanced animated effects and navigation interface

- a website that allows users to share classes and functions they created

- A ‘queue’ class was adapted for use in the NSF loader

- A ‘rssGenerator’ class is being used to create various rss feeds

OpenKapow RoboMaker

- Allows the creation of navigation robots to create REST and RSS services

- Used in news rss feed and some other planned services

internal messaging e mail system
Internal Messaging / E-mail system

To send messages

Receive messages

Contact Groups

Or some better way to communicate with groups or each other


Ontology tree for a common Tag Cloud

profile actions
Profile Actions


more information40
More Information
  • Portal snapshot is available from
  • See demos at Supercomputing 2007
  • Contact me:
a web 2 0 diversion
A Web 2.0 Diversion
  • REST services: back to the future
  • Simple message formats
    • JSON, RSS, Atom
  • Rich Client Interfaces: JavaScript is back on the menu.
    • AJAX
  • Gadgets, widgets, badges, etc.
    • Client-side integration
  • Microformats, tagging