I _Really_ Don't Know

A low-frequency blog by Rob Styles

Bringing a Wordpress Blog Back To Life With Eleventy

I stopped writing on this blog at the end of 2012. That's about 8 years ago as I write this and much has changed in the meantime.

It survived on a cheap web host, running wordpress, until October 2017 when I failed to pay the fees on the host and, eventually, they powered down the virtual machine. My blogging career, 1999 — 2017, finished.

Every so often I'd get a little nostalgic, and remember that I enjoyed blogging, and finally, February 2021, I made the decision to try and ressurect my old blog content, and maybe even write some new posts.

Here's how that went…

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How do Medical Professionals Find Accurate, Trusted, Health Information Online?

This blog post originally appeared on the Meducation Company Blog

Medical professionals rely on accurate, trusted information much of which is found, and consumed, online. Little research has been done into the behaviour of those involved in healthcare when looking for and assessing healthcare information online.

We surveyed 313 medical professionals, medical students and non-medical professionals working in a health context to better understand how they find and consume healthcare information online. We have published the results and the associated data below.

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Pairwise Comparisons of Large Datasets

It’s been a while since I last posted. Work’s been busy, interesting, challenging :)

But now it’s the holidays and I have some time to write.

At work we’ve been building a small team around Big Data technologies; specifically Hadoop and Elasticsearch right now though those choices may change. Unlike many Big Data projects we’re not de-normalising our data for a specific application. We have several different applications and thoughts in mind so we want to keep options open. We’re working with graph-based data structures; Linked Data, essentially.

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Room Not Found

I was staying in a hotel last week. I arrived and they gave me room 404. I went to the fourth floor and looked and looked but couldn’t find it.

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Big Data, Large Batches and My Mistake

This is week 9 for me in my new challenge at Callcredit. I wrote a bit about what we’re doing last time and can’t write much about the detail right now as the product we’re building is secret. Credit bureaus are a secretive bunch, culturally. Probably not a bad thing given what they know about us all.

Don’t expect a Linked Data tool or product. What we’re building is firmly in Callcredit’s existing domain.

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Linked Data, Big Data and Your Data

Week five of my new challenge and I figured I really should get around to scribbling down some thoughts. I talked in my last post about RDF and graphs being useful inside the enterprise; and here I am, inside an enterprise.

Callcredit is a data business. A mixture of credit reference agency (CRA) and consumer data specialists. As the youngest of the UK’s CRAs, 12 years old, it has built an enviable position and is one of few businesses growing strongly even in the current climate. I’ve worked with CRAs from the outside, during my time at Internet bank Egg. From inside there’s a lot to learn and some interesting opportunities.

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What next?

I’m leaving Talis.

For the past seven years I have had the great fortune to learn a huge amount from awesome people. That has put me in the position of having some great conversations about what I’ll be doing next; and those conversations are exciting. More on that in a later post. First, how can someone be happy to be leaving a great company?

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RDF, Big Data and The Semantic Web

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while, but things have been busy. So, with this afternoon free I figured I’d write it now.

I’ve spent the last 7 years working intensively with data. Mostly not with RDBMSs, but with different Big Data and Linked Data tools. Over the past year things have changed enormously.

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There is no “metadata”

For a while I’ve been avoiding using the term metadata for a few reasons. I’ve had a few conversations with people about why and so I thought I’d jot the thoughts down here.

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Getting over-excited about Dinosaurs…

I had the great pleasure, a few weeks ago, of working with Tom Scott and Michael Smethurst at the BBC on extensions to the Wildlife Ontology that sits behind Wildlife Finder.

In case you hadn’t spotted it (and if you’re reading this I can’t believe you haven’t) Wildlife Finder provides its information in HTML and RDF — Linked Data, providing a machine-readable version of the documents for those who want to extend or build on top of it. Readers of this blog will have seen Wildlife Finder showcased in many, many Linked Data presentations.

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