Getting a handle on social MDM

Since this is the first work related post for a while, it’s probably a good idea to drop in the usual disclaimer as a reminder: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

Anyway, I recently spotted an MDM enhancement request, Improve Better support for social handle support, and it seemed odd that there wasn’t already something in the data model that could do a better job than using misc values. There are probably several options but I think this is what I’d do…

Add a new “Social Network” contact method category, and associated contact method types, for example: “Twitter”, “LinkedIn”, etc. Here’s what those look like in the Business Admin UI:



Now you can just add social network contact methods in the same way as you would for telephone numbers and email addresses, which means you get all the standard functionality you’re likely to need.

For example, here’s what an example getPerson response looks like with my Twitter and LinkedIn details:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<TCRMService xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation=" MDMDomains.xsd">
                <DisplayName>James Taylor</DisplayName>
                <CreatedDate>2013-11-03 07:10:40.909</CreatedDate>
                <PartyLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:10:41.175</PartyLastUpdateDate>
                <PersonLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:10:41.767</PersonLastUpdateDate>
                    <StartDate>2013-11-03 07:13:47.966</StartDate>
                    <AddressGroupLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:14:17.854</AddressGroupLastUpdateDate>
                    <LocationGroupLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:14:17.839</LocationGroupLastUpdateDate>
                        <AddressLineOne>IBM UK Ltd</AddressLineOne>
                        <AddressLineTwo>Hursley Park</AddressLineTwo>
                        <ZipPostalCode>SO21 2JN</ZipPostalCode>
                        <CountryValue>Great Britain and N Ireland</CountryValue>
                        <AddressLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:14:17.839</AddressLastUpdateDate>
                    <StartDate>2013-11-03 07:17:24.762</StartDate>
                    <ContactMethodGroupLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:17:24.778</ContactMethodGroupLastUpdateDate>
                    <LocationGroupLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:17:24.762</LocationGroupLastUpdateDate>
                        <ContactMethodValue>Social Network</ContactMethodValue>
                        <ContactMethodLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:17:24.762</ContactMethodLastUpdateDate>
                    <StartDate>2013-11-03 07:12:03.523</StartDate>
                    <ContactMethodGroupLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:12:03.57</ContactMethodGroupLastUpdateDate>
                    <LocationGroupLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:12:03.523</LocationGroupLastUpdateDate>
                        <ContactMethodValue>Social Network</ContactMethodValue>
                        <ContactMethodLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:12:03.289</ContactMethodLastUpdateDate>
                    <StartDate>2013-11-03 07:10:41.986</StartDate>
                    <PersonNameLastUpdateDate>2013-11-03 07:10:41.986</PersonNameLastUpdateDate>
                    <LastUpdatedDate>2013-11-03 07:10:41.986</LastUpdatedDate>

Does that sounds sensible? Are there any enhancements? For example, I wonder about standardization: I put an ‘@’ on my Twitter ID, but I can easily imagine several variations ending up in there. I’ll leave that as an exercise for another day!

Check out the MDM Developers community for much more useful MDM related posts, forums and other resources.


Social data modelling

I’ve been meaning to get round to extending a little social bookmarking example I started ages ago, and after a demo yesterday now seems like the perfect time. The rumours/news about Delicious are purely a coincidence; I’m definitely not planning to compete!!!

So I started out with a very basic model that only included bookmarks, which I’d now like to add tagging to, along with people. Here’s how I think that fits together:

The first question is, does that make sense as a basic tagging example? The next step is to create a physical data model, which I’m less sure about. My first attempt looks like this:

I hope I got the crows feat right, but is that a reasonable data model to achieve the kind of thing the first diagram shows? Are there any data modelling 101 guidelines that would help improve it? Any comments, tips and suggestions very welcome!

The IET gets sociable

I recently read Yes, we can twitter while catching up on some E&T reading. Probably the most interesting bit for me was seeing @TheIET is also on twitter, so I tore off the bottom of the page with the link on to check out. Web 0.1 bookmarking then; I still like reading on paper.

The IET twitter account doesn’t look like it’s progressed beyond getting their brand on there; they don’t follow anyone, have a surprisingly small 168 followers and don’t seem to be talking to anyone. Still, hopefully it’s just a small beginning and, amongst the links to their web site, I did spot a press release about the launch of the new IET social networking site! That news somehow passed me by until now, so I’ve been investigating to see what it offers. To start with, I have yet another profile, which is not a big surprise. Earlier today I was scratching my head over a spiced up developerWorks profile. It has a bookmarking service which, for anyone in the IET new to such things is great. While I already use delicious for my own bookmarks, IET Discover combines bookmarks with groups, in what looks quite a similar way to Lotus Connections. There’s already a good selection of groups, although I’ve not found any that appear that active yet. Groups have always been a bit of a mystery to me in things like Facebook, never quite fulfilling their apparent potential, mostly ending up little more than a way to tag yourself as being interested in something.

Talking of tagging, from what I can tell on first look, I can tag my own profile, but other people can’t tag me, which seems like a missed opportunity. I think there’s much more value in tagging other people. In networks where you can tag yourself, I tend to have a poor attempt to start with, and then never return to keep the tags up-to-date.

And finally, I can watch people… except so far I’ve not found anyone to watch. I’m guessing it’s much like adding people to your delicious network.

Overall, it’s an interesting foray into the world of social networking. Like LinkedIn, it has a more professional focus, but it feels more limited by association with a single professional body. With recent homecamp, arduino and related projects in mind, I joined the electronic circuits group, but there are already more established social networks around those topics, whether IET members or not. Having said that, I think there is a place for more focused social networks. For example, I’m a big fan of developerWorks, where I’ve been trying to get some momentum for a community around the MDM Workbench, which is after all a pretty niche topic. So IET Discover looks interesting, and it has the potential to get me more involved in the IET. Time will tell how it turns out… maybe @TheIET will share their view…

Tweetup spotted outside London

Last night I went along to my first ‘proper’ tweetup. I’ve had minor tweetups with friends and fellow Hursley tweeps before, mostly involving a nice cup of tea and a sit down, but all the big tweetups seem to be in London. (Or Reading, but who’d want to go there?!)

PR gurus, students, lecturers, web designers, application developers, personal trainers, salsa dancers, cake bakers, comedians, film makers, journalists, metaverse evangalists, entrepreneurs and those new to twitter were in the basement of Dock Gate 4 for the first Tuesday Tweetup. Not sure how many people came in total, but @Tuesdaytweetup‘s (Lisa‘s) efforts meant there were more than enough people to talk to in one evening.

Without Pokens, QR codes, Cityware, or a decent memory to be sure, I think I met @_hb, @RAndyVee@DanShilcock, @CatStormont, @jonsa57 and of course @Tuesdaytweetup (who did I miss?!), and heard some great stuff about an ultimate set top box project (in need of Linux hardware driver guru) and owl flavour cakes.

I didn’t recognise many people at the tweetup (most of the Southampton tweeps I do follow weren’t there) but it was also good to catch up with @epredator and @cminion.

All the signs are that the Tuesday Tweetup will be a regular event and in the mean time, the second OpenWeb Southampton is on soon. (I guess there’s still no Southampton network in Facebook yet though.)