Sunday, March 2, 2008

Twine - a new service based on Semantic Web technologies that helps users share, organize, and find information with people they trust

Twine, from Radar Networks, is billed as "a new service that gives users a smarter way to share, organize, and find information with people they trust." Radar states that "Twine is one of the first mainstream applications of the Semantic Web, or what is sometimes referred to as Web 3.0." Radar summarizes Twine as follows:

Twine Ties it all Together

Twine is a new service that intelligently helps you share, organize and find information with people you trust.

Share more productively. In Twine you can safely share information and knowledge, and collaborate around common interests, activities and goals. Twine helps you better leverage and contribute to the collective intelligence of your network. Use Twine to share more productively with friends, colleagues, groups and teams.

Get more organized. Twine provides one place to tie everything together: emails, bookmarks, documents, contacts, photos, videos, product info, data records, and more. And, because Twine actually understands the meaning of any information you add in, it helps you organize all your stuff automatically. Finally, you can search and browse everything and everyone you know, about anything, in one convenient place.

Find and be found. You are like a snowflake – you are totally one-of-a-kind. Twine recognizes what makes you special: your unique interests, personality, knowledge and relationships, to help you find and discover things, and be found by others, more relevantly.

Who is Twine For?

Friends. Colleagues. Groups. Teams. Anyone who needs help dealing with the growing array of information and relationships on the Web today. Whether you just need to organize and share with friends, or you need to collaborate better with teams, Twine provides the smartest way to tie it all together.

How Does Twine work?

We thought you'd never ask! Well, in a nutshell Twine uses the Semantic Web, natural language processing, and machine learning to make your information and relationships smarter. But if that's all Greek to you, just think of Twine as your very own intelligent personal Web assistant, working for you behind the scenes so you can be more productive.

Radar more tersely summarizes Twine as:

A revolutionary new way to share, organize, and find information.

Use Twine to better leverage and contribute to the collective intelligence of your friends, colleagues, groups and teams. Twine ties it all together.

As far as what capabilities of the Semantic Web they actually use and how they use them, the details are not public, as far as I could tell from a brief scan of the web site.

There is an interesting article about Twine from the International Herald Tribune by Anne Eisenberg entitled "Twine ties things together on Web." It notes that:

Twine, at, can scan almost any electronic document for the names of people, places, businesses and many other entities that its algorithms recognize.

Then it does something unusual: it automatically tags or marks all of these items in orange and transfers them to an index on the right side of the screen. This index grows with every document you view, as the program adds subjects that it can recognize or infer from their context.

Customers have individual accounts on Twine's Web site, where they save URLs or other information. They can make their collections, or "twines," private, share them in groups with other members having common interests like politics or fashion, or even make the twines public.

The article notes that you can sign up for the free beta program, but that there is a waiting list of 30,000 people.

I would be interested in hearing any overall or detailed feedback about Twine.

A quick scan of did not reveal whether their Semantic Web resources (RDF files, schemas, etc.) are "open" and accessible to other Semantic Web software agents. Superficially, it sounds like yet another "walled garden" web site, but I simply do not know for sure.

In any case, Twine certainly does look like an interesting application of Semantic Web technologies.

-- Jack Krupansky


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