Frequently Asked Questions

How do I login to the new site and connect to my old SemanticOverflow profile?

You will need to re-authenticate your OpenID (just once). Because some OpenID providers (including Google and Yahoo!) use domain-specific tokens, you will need to go through a process to tie your login here to the profile you created at SemanticOverflow. Follow these steps and you should be fine:

  1. At the top of the answers.semanticweb.com home page, click Login.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen where it says "Click here if you're having trouble signing in." Click.
  3. Enter the email address you have connected with your SemanticOverflow.com profile and click "Send Link."
  4. Check your email for a message from "Answers.SemanticWeb.com".
  5. Go back in through that link and remove your OpenID provider if it's there. Then click "add New Provider" and re-authenticate.
  6. You should now see your profile and your history.

Printable instruction sheet, including screen shots (PDF)

What happened to SemanticOverflow.com?

In March of 2011, SemanticOverflow.com was acquired by WebMediaBrands and in April 2011, was brought under the umbrella of SemanticWeb.com. At that time, it was moved from StackExchange to the Open Source OSQA platform.

What kind of questions can I ask here?

Semantic Technologies questions, of course! As long as your question is:

  • detailed and specific
  • written clearly and simply
  • of interest to at least one other person somewhere

... it is welcome here. No question is too trivial or too "newbie". Oh yes, and it should be about Semantic Technologies (LinkedData, Semantic Web, Web 3.0, Web of Data...) -- all are welcome here!

Please look around to see if your question has already been asked (and answered!) before you ask. If you end up asking a question that has been asked before, that is OK and deliberately allowed. Other users will hopefully edit in links to related or similar questions to help future visitors find their way.

It's also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, but pretend you're on Jeopardy: phrase it in the form of a question.

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

Don’t be vague. Provide other community members with enough information to answer your questions. Questions like “my installation of this program doesn’t work - please help” are not helpful enough. You need to give as much information as you have, what you already tried, and what you know.

Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered! For brief discussion, you may use the “Commenting” feature. If you have a broader discussion you would like to have with the Semantic Web community, please email us:
answers at semantic web dot com

Your idea may make an excellent blog post, and we welcome guest contributors!

Be nice.

Treat others with the same respect you'd want them to treat you. We're all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know. Bring your sense of humor.

Be honest.

Above all, be honest. If you see misinformation, vote it down. Insert comments indicating what, specifically, is wrong. Even better — edit and improve the information! Provide stronger, faster, superior answers of your own!

Do I have to log in or create an account?

Nope. You can answer and ask questions to your heart's content as an anonymous user, much like Wikipedia. However, there are some things you won't be able to do on the site without registering. But it's easy to register if you want to. All you need is an OpenID account. You can login through any service that supports OpenID, e.g. Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc. Login now!

What is Karma?

If you were a member of SemanticOverflow.com, you’re familiar with the concept of reputation. Karma is the same thing, and the reputation points you earned at SemanticOverflow.com have been transferred to your profile as Karma points. Karma is completely optional. Normal use of Answers.SemanticWeb.com — that is, asking and answering questions — does not require any karma whatsoever.

Remember, Answers.SemanticWeb.com is run by you! If you want to help us run the site, you'll need karma first. Karma is a (very) rough measurement of how much the Answers.SemanticWeb.com community trusts you. Karma is never given, it is earned by convincing other users that you know what you're talking about.

How does the karma system work?

When a question or answer is upvoted, the user who posted it will gain some points, which are called "karma points." These points serve as a rough measure of the community trust to him/her. Various moderation tasks are gradually assigned to the users based on those points.

For example, if you ask an interesting question or give a helpful answer, your input will be upvoted. On the other hand if the answer is misleading - it will be downvoted. Each vote in favor will generate 10 points, each vote against will subtract 2 points. There is a limit of 200 points that can be accumulated per question or answer. The table below explains karma requirements for each type of moderation task.

With this much Karma... You can...
15 Vote up
15 Flag offensive
50 Leave comments
100 Vote down (costs 1 point), edit community wiki posts
200 Reduced advertising
250 Vote to close or reopen your questions, create new tags
500 Retag questions
2000 Edit other people's posts
3000 Vote to close or reopen any questions
10000 Delete closed questions, access to moderation tools


At the high end of this karma spectrum, there is little difference between users with high karma and moderators. That is very much intentional. We don't run answers.semanticweb.com. The community does.

What is Community Wiki?

Questions or answers marked with "community wiki" can be edited by any user with more than 200 karma points (note that users with more than 2k karma points can edit any posts). This allows a broader range of users to collaborate on a given question or answer. You can edit any of your posts and mark it as community wiki at any time. It is important to note that once a post is marked community wiki, any further votes on that post will not affect the karma of the original poster: you cannot gain karma from your community wiki entries. A good example of when to use a community wiki question is "Where can I learn about the Semantic Web?", which has been collaboratively curated by many users.

What if I don't get a good answer?

In order to get good answers, you have to put some effort into the question. Edit your question to provide status and progress updates. Document your own continued efforts to answer your question. This will naturally bump your question and get more people interested in it.

Other people can edit my stuff?!

Like Wikipedia, this site is collaboratively edited. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your questions and answers being edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

What is gravatar?

Gravatar means globally recognized avatar - your unique avatar image associated with your email address. It's simply a picture that shows next to your posts on the websites that support gravatar protocol. By default gravar appears as a square filled with a snowflake-like figure. You can set your image at gravatar.com.

Still have questions?

Please ask your question, help make our community better!

You can also always email us:
answers at semantic web dot com