We have two interconnected goals:
Make it easy to develop multi-user ("social") software using only front-end development and respecting the rights and privacy of users.
Allow users the freedom to move easily among applications, hardware platforms, and social networks, keeping their data and social connections.
We believe it will be possible to achieve both of these, in a sustainable and scalable way. This, much like the Web itself, will result in a significant increase in the tangible benefits to society from the Internet.
This work is being led by Sandro Hawke at MIT, supervised by Tim Berners-Lee. Within our lab, Crosscloud projects have received funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Qatar Computing Research Institute, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. While some members of our group are on the W3C staff, this is work is not financially supported by W3C member funds.
Our selection of technologies is still evolving. We have a long history with Semantic Web technologies, and are currently involved in the W3C Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group, but this work will necessarily involve reaching beyond existing standards. We are also involved in the W3C Social Web Working Group.
Overview of potential benefits and some possible application areas (mostly from May 2014)
August 2014. Slides and video from presentation at Semantic Technologies and Business Conference. The talk is aimed at an audience familiar with the Semantic Web technology stack and interested in the emerging Linked Data Platform (LDP) standards.
June 2014. Slides from presentation to W3C staff. This talk is aimed at an audience expert in Web technologies, broadly speaking, and the standards process.
March 2014. Poster (for QCRI-CSAIL annual meeting), and slides from a talk that month. Talk assumes some Semantic Web familiarity. See cimba demo video.
November 2013. Slides for presentation to MIT's Linked Data Ventures class, trying to give some flavor of the research questions we expected to be approaching.
June 2013 Knight Foundation Blog Post. The video on that blog post is from earlier and talks about the general Semantic Web idea, not Crosscloud.
March 2012 slides from a talk to Semantic Web experts about some of the core Crosscloud ideas.
Start by subscribing to email@example.com. There will only be a handful of posts per year. You can also follow us on twitter (@crosscloudorg) or email firstname.lastname@example.org and say how you'd like to be involved.
Software we're developing can be found on github, mostly under linkeddata and sandhawke, but it's not at all stable. When it's ready for other people to try out, we'll list it here and mention it to the crosscloud-announce list.