Twine facilitate the emergence of higher levels of collective intelligence by creating smarter connections between contents but also between People.
How does it work ?
A twine is an object containing Items (web links, pictures, videos,..) that are published and tagged by twine users. Those items are then indexed by a semantic search engine that enable the connection to other twines or members. A user can create his own twines (public or private) and subscribe to existing twines. The more a user uses twine the more he will get from it since the twine engine will be able to make recommendation to twine and people in an efficient way.
My experience on Twine
I was part of the beta testers and the first thing I realised is that there was no roadmap or guidelines to work with twine. A web user could be then completely “Alone in the dark” and only IT Geek’s would be able to find their way. I was in a forgiving mood since I was in a beta testing program but I could see that some web reviewers were already complaining about that (some of them without having tested carefully the web site). A Beta is a Beta and when Twine was finally open to the public in October , those minor issues were resolved but you still have to know Twine before Twine knows you. Knowing the recommendations of Delicious, I was really skeptical on the subject in the beginning but I realised quickly that twine’s recommendations were matching at 80% my interests (which I must admit was purely IT related while first testing Twine).
Today, I am using Twine to store interesting articles I have received from my web discoveries, my RSS feeds, my emails newsletter, or from my tweets. I store/tag them in a Twine which could be Private or Public using the bookmarklet. For example, I have a private Twine “to analyse when time” where I share links with private members who will comment and share on the same topics/interests. For those who are using Digg it, Furl, or Delicious, there is certainly nothing new in my post so far. So what does Twine offer that other social bookmarking doesn’t ? Twine is using semantic technologies.
Is Twine a Semantic web site ?
Before answering this question, I have to describe quickly what a semantic web is. A semantic web is a set of technologies that will enable software to understand the web. Today, our web is like a file server where you have just a bunch of documents that can not be used smartly. Tomorrow, our known web will be more like a database that applications will share using mashups of data and standards like RDF, GRDDL, OWL, SPARQL coming out of the WWW Consortium. These standards enable the meaning of the information on the web but we will not have a smarter web without human inputs (at least not in this decade). Twine understands language and can actually read but also understands the meaning of items stored ( web pages, files, comment,…). Twine uses also the standards of the semantic web and through his members adds the human inputs which powered the collective intelligence. By connecting people in a smarter way, Twine connects, collects, and amplifies intelligence and information workflow.
The semantic web is just nascent and Nova Spivack offered us a new vision on social bookmarking and collective intelligence possibilities on the web using Twine. Some other semantic web site are also emerging but their usage is still limited to a specific audience.
Sites to visit:
Definition of the web semantic standard: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/