Online retailers like Amazon analyse users' shopping baskets and search queries in order to adapt their offers to the interests and needs (?) of their customers. The purpose is business and today we know that the customer pays twice for the perceived joy of personalisation - once for the product and once by leaking personal data.
Beside this (undesirable) application of Web Usage Mining the Web of Data created a new space for these methods, allowing to create adaptive data-centric applications and to integrate data evolutionary as envisioned in the dataspaces idea.
I am a member of the EPSRC funded project SOCIAM - The Theory and Practice of Social Machines.
In SOCIAM we seek to better understand the socio-technical systems enabled by Internet and Web technologies, which were most prominently described by Tim Berners-Lee in his book "Weaving the Web" as follows: "Real life is and must be full of all kinds of social constraint – the very processes from which society arises. Computers can help if we use them to create abstract social machines on the Web: processes in which the people do the creative work and the machine does the administration."
From the single day event of a scientific workshop in 2011 emerged a continuous collaborative activity on advancing research in the area of Web of Data Usage Mining.
As part of the annual USEWOD workshop we are providing a research data set consisting of log files from various well-regarded Linked Data endpoints including DBpedia, Linked Geo Data, and BioPortal. This data set has become a valuable resource for many colleagues publishing papers beyond the boundaries of the USEWOD workshop and contributes to reproducible research.