boards.ie SIOC Data Competition moves start date to 1st September

Signups are now being accepted for the boards.ie SIOC Data Competition, and data sets will be made available to verified accounts for download from the 1st September 2008. The new closing date for the competition is the 31st October 2008.

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway is running a unique competition from 1st September to 31st October 2008 in conjunction with boards.ie, Ireland’s largest discussion forum site. The competition is an open contest in which entrants can win over €4000 in Amazon.com vouchers by submitting an interesting creation based on a data set of discussion posts from boards.ie over the past ten years:

  • The first prize is an Amazon voucher for $4000 (~€2500)
  • The second prize is a voucher for $2000 (~€1250)
  • The third prize is a voucher for $1000 (~€625)

Read the rules and find out more information on the contest at: data.sioc-project.org

The data set (approximately 9 million documents) has been represented in the Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) open data format developed by DERI, NUI Galway for expressing the information contained in social websites (forums, mailing lists, blogs, etc.).

Entrants may create whatever they feel is interesting based on this data: it could be a novel web application that makes use of the data set, a report on analyses performed on the data, a tool that allows one to visualise or browse the semantic structure, or whatever else the imagination can
come up with!

The data reflects ten years of Irish online life, collected between 1998 and 2008 from boards.ie. boards.ie is one of Ireland’s busiest websites, with over a million unique visitors a month. The most popular discussion areas are ‘after hours’, soccer, motors, poker, and computers. Popular topic threads include one about a virtual pub (over 4000 pages), member discussions (2800 pages), poker stories (1800 pages), Liverpool rumours (1250 pages), recruitment in the Gardaí (800 pages long), and a freebie list (250 pages).

To enter the competition, you must register for a user account that will be verified by phone, then you will be able to access the data sets according to the guidelines from the 1st September (usage of these data sets is limited to the duration of the competition and judging process). There will be three prizes for the top entries, as judged by an independent panel of three experts in November. The contest is open to anyone except current / former researchers with DERI and employees of boards.ie Ltd. One person may make multiple entry submissions. The closing date is the 31st October 2008.

The purpose of this contest is to generate interesting applications or creations that make use of community data represented in the SIOC Semantic Web format. All rights to these creations will remain with the contest participants (not including the underlying data, whose copyright remains with the creators). Neither DERI nor boards.ie Ltd. will acquire any commercial rights to these applications or creations as submitted through this contest. Up until now, this data has been publicly viewable, but it was difficult to leverage it without any added semantics due to the fact that it was embedded in heavily-styled HTML pages.

(DERI is a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) established at NUI Galway in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). After five years of operation, DERI has become an internationally-recognised institute in Semantic Web research, education and technology transfer.)

Designing for a non-participatory audience

boards.ie developer Ross Duggan pointed me to two interesting pages today, the first from 2006:

Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute by Jakob Nielsen

where I liked the quote:

How to Overcome Participation Inequality

You can’t.

and one from this month:

The 3 Loops of Designing for Audience by Gregor Hochmuth

Feedback loops contribute greatly to a user’s sense of Audience within a service.