John Breslin

John Breslin

NUI Galway Senior Lecturer, / Co-Founder, Startup Advisor, ACE Fitness Board, ESB ecars Ambassador


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John Breslin's Overview

  • Senior Lecturer at National University of Ireland Galway
  • Funded Investigator at Insight Centre for Data Analytics
  • Chairman, Co-Founder at Startup Galway

500+ connections

John Breslin's Summary

Senior lecturer (tenured academic) at NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics (Electronic Engineering)
• Teaching fundamental topics to all engineering and computer science students
• Advanced courses to electrical, computer, energy, sports and exercise students
• Over 140 peer-reviewed publications
• Chair of various international conferences (AAAI ICWSM-12, BlogTalk '08-'10)

Research leader of the Unit for Social Software at Insight (formerly DERI)
• Team lead at NUI Galway’s world-leading web research institute
• Researching the application of Social Semantic Web to journalism, health and fitness, government, energy
• Creator of the SIOC project, results of which have been implemented in hundreds of
applications on tens of thousands of websites
• Co-author of the book "Social Semantic Web"
• Leader of the Eurapp app economy study
• Vice chair of the IFIP Working Group 12.7 on Social Networking Semantics and Collective Intelligence
• Dissemination chair for the KEYSTONE European COST Action IC1302

Internet entrepreneur
• Co-founder and director, Ltd. (Ireland's largest forum community, over 2.25M visitors per month) [2000]
• Co-founder, Adverts Marketplace Ltd. (, online classified adverts) [2006]
• Co-founder, StreamGlider Inc. (real-time streaming newsreader for tablets) [2011]
• Founder, Technology Voice (online publisher) [2012]
• Member of the Board of Directors, American Council on Exercise [2013-]
• Advisor, CrowdGather Inc., Dot-Irish LLC, Trugence Inc., BuilderEngine, CloudDock, Pocket Anatomy, Fimsi, AYLIEN

Winner of various academic and internet awards
• ICEGOV best paper award for completed research (e-government) [2013]
• ESWC seven-year most influential paper (Semantic Web) [2012]
• IEEE PELS best paper award (electronic engineering) [2000]
• IIA Net Visionary awards [2005 and 2006]
• Golden Spider award for [2001]

• ESB ecars ambassador
• Chairman and co-organiser, Startup Galway

John Breslin's Experience

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

July 2014Present (4 months)

After a competitive internal process, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in the College of Engineering and Informatics at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Funded Investigator

Insight Centre for Data Analytics

July 2013Present (1 year 4 months)

I am also an Associate Researcher and Leader of the Unit for Social Software at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway (formerly DERI).

Chairman, Co-Founder

Startup Galway

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

December 2013Present (11 months) Galway

I am Co-Founder and Chairman of the Startup Galway initiative, which aims to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Galway. We organise a monthly tech meetup where attendees can hear from the experiences of a successful tech founder.

Also behind the initiative are John Brosnan (NetFort), Mic FitzGerald (OnePageCRM) and Barry O'Sullivan (Altocloud, Dragon's Den).



Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Computer Software industry

March 2014Present (8 months)


Pocket Anatomy

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Hospital & Health Care industry

March 2014Present (8 months)



March 2014Present (8 months)



Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Internet industry

August 2013Present (1 year 3 months)

CloudDock makes cloud storage services compatible. It enables, for example, a Google Drive user to collaborate seamlessly with a Dropbox user.

The company is a graduate of the NDRC LaunchPad programme, winner of the 2013 SCCUL ICT award, and recently joined the Wayra Ireland accelerator (a Telefonica initiative). The founders are both graduates of NUI Galway.

Member of the Board of Directors

American Council on Exercise

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Health, Wellness and Fitness industry

July 2013Present (1 year 4 months) Greater San Diego Area

I was appointed to the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in 2013. ACE is the largest non-profit fitness certification, education and training organisation in the world.

I am currently Chairman of the Bylaws and Governance Committee for the ACE Board of Directors (July 2014 - Present).



Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Computer Software industry

March 2013Present (1 year 8 months)



June 2012Present (2 years 5 months)



March 2012Present (2 years 8 months)



Public Company; 1-10 employees; Internet industry

March 2011Present (3 years 8 months)


Technology Voice

2012Present (2 years)


StreamGlider Inc.

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Computer Software industry

January 2011Present (3 years 10 months)

StreamGlider is a next-generation mobile content delivery platform. As a real-time multimedia newsreader, it competes with applications such as Flipboard, Pulse and Flud.

StreamGlider is available primarily as a standalone app, but is also deployable for private labeling. As such, we aim to give control and branding back to publishers.

StreamGlider is initially being released for iPad, with iPhone and Android versions coming soon. StreamGlider, Inc. was founded in 2010. Patents are pending for StreamGlider.

Director Ltd.

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Internet industry

February 2000Present (14 years 9 months)

I am also a director of Ltd., Ireland's largest community forum site, which was incorporated as a company in 2000. The site began life as a computer gaming forum I set up in 1998.

Lecturer (Above the Bar)

NUI Galway

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

August 2008June 2014 (5 years 11 months)

I was appointed as a Lecturer (Above the Bar) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the College of Engineering and Informatics at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Associate Researcher


Educational Institution; 51-200 employees; Research industry

August 2008June 2013 (4 years 11 months)

Founder and leader of the Unit for Social Software (USS).


New Tech Post

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Online Media industry

August 2010April 2012 (1 year 9 months)

I was founder and director of Social Media Ltd., trading as New Tech Post.


Adverts Marketplace Ltd.

April 2006April 2012 (6 years 1 month)

Along with my co-founders at, I set up a separate classified adverts site based on the success of the For Sale forum area on This was later incorporated as a separate company in partnership with Daft Media Ltd.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Adjunct Lecturer


Educational Institution; 51-200 employees; Research industry

March 2004August 2008 (4 years 6 months)

I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the National University of Ireland, Galway. My research interests include the Semantic Web and social software, and I am co-creator of the Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) project at

During my work at DERI, I was also an adjunct lecturer at the University, doing some teaching and student supervision.

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

August 2000June 2004 (3 years 11 months)

I lectured full time at NUI Galway from 2000 to 2004.

Research Officer

PEI Technologies

19981999 (1 year)

I worked for a year as a research officer with Power Electronics Ireland Technologies (PEI Technologies), where I coded high frequency optimisation and transformer design algorithms, and developed a compact GUI in Visual Basic to display large amounts of data, while interfacing the software with core and winding database files.

Visiting Scholar

Virginia Tech

Educational Institution; 5001-10,000 employees; Higher Education industry

19961996 (less than a year)

During the summer of 1996, I was paid by Virginia Tech to work as a visiting scholar in the Virginia Power Electronics Center (VPEC). I also held a green card during this time.

John Breslin's Honors and Awards

  • Finalist, Research2Business Award

    Knowledge Transfer Ireland
    • May 2014

    I was one of four shortlisted nominees for the inaugural KTI (Knowledge Transfer Ireland) Research2Business award in 2014. The shortlist was drawn from 16 nominations.

    The KTI Research2Business award celebrates excellence in engagement between researchers and the business community. For example, through collaborative research, contracted services and consultancy. The award recognises the researcher whose interactions have delivered exceptional impact for businesses and had a beneficial effect for their host institution.

John Breslin's Languages

  • English

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)
  • Irish

    (Professional working proficiency)

John Breslin's Skills & Expertise

  1. Semantic Web
  2. PHP
  3. Lecturing
  4. Social Networking
  5. Social Media
  6. Web Design
  7. Community Building
  8. Electronic Engineering
  9. Web Development
  10. Programming
  11. Start-ups
  12. Entrepreneurship
  13. Computer Science
  14. Software Development
  15. Software Engineering
  16. Research
  17. Algorithms
  18. Blogging
  19. MySQL
  20. Mobile Applications
  21. Leadership
  22. Databases
  23. XML
  24. Semantic Technologies
  25. Visual Basic
  26. Linux
  27. Digital Media
  28. Web 2.0
  29. Software Design
  30. Human Computer Interaction
  31. Training
  32. User Experience
  33. CSS
  34. RDF
  35. Distributed Systems
  36. Web Applications
  37. Publishing
  38. Project Management
  39. Big Data
  40. Cloud Computing
  41. Drupal
  42. Multimedia
  43. JavaScript
  44. Mobile Devices
  45. Open Source
  46. Enterprise Software
  47. Complex Project Management

View All (47) Skills View Fewer Skills

John Breslin's Projects

  • Eurapp

    • February 2013 to March 2014
    Team Members: John Breslin, David Card, Maciej Dąbrowski, Mark Mulligan

    Eurapp is a study of the EU app economy, run by NUI Galway and Gigaom, and part of the Startup Europe initiative from the European Commission. You can download our final report "Sizing the EU App Economy" from the EU Bookshop:

  • SIOC

    • September 2006 to October 2009

    The SIOC initiative (Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities) aims to enable the integration of online community information. SIOC provides a Semantic Web ontology for representing rich data from the Social Web in RDF. The initiative was supported by Science Foundation Ireland under grant number SFI/02/CE1/I131 (Líon) and SFI/08/CE/I1380 (Líon 2) at the DERI NUI Galway.

  • Recognizing Emotions using Wireless Sensor Networks, CONET

    • June 2010 to August 2012
    Team Members: John Breslin, Roberto Covello, Antonio Aguilar, Alessandro Andreoli

John Breslin's Publications

  • Google Scholar Citations

    Here is a link to my Google Scholar Citations page.

  • Open Access Publications

    Most of my publications are available under open access.

  • The Social Semantic Web

    • Springer
    • October 3, 2009

    The Social Web (including services such as MySpace, Flickr,, and WordPress) has captured the attention of millions of users as well as billions of dollars in investment and acquisition. Social websites, evolving around the connections between people and their objects of interest, are encountering boundaries in the areas of information integration, dissemination, reuse, portability, searchability, automation and demanding tasks like querying. The Semantic Web is an ideal platform for interlinking and performing operations on diverse person- and object-related data available from the Social Web, and has produced a variety of approaches to overcome the boundaries being experienced in Social Web application areas.

    After a short overview of both the Social Web and the Semantic Web, Breslin et al. describe some popular social media and social networking applications, list their strengths and limitations, and describe some applications of Semantic Web technology to address their current shortcomings by enhancing them with semantics. Across these social websites, they demonstrate a twofold approach for interconnecting the islands that are social websites with semantic technologies, and for powering semantic applications with rich community-created content. They conclude with observations on how the application of Semantic Web technologies to the Social Web is leading towards the "Social Semantic Web" (sometimes also called "Web 3.0"), forming a network of interlinked and semantically-rich content and knowledge.

    The book is intended for computer science professionals, researchers, and graduates interested in understanding the technologies and research issues involved in applying Semantic Web technologies to social software. Practitioners and developers interested in applications such as blogs, social networks or wikis will also learn about methods for increasing the levels of automation in these forms of Web communication.

  • Crowdsourcing, citizen sensing and sensor web technologies for public and environmental health surveillance and crisis management: trends, OGC standards and application examples

    • International Journal of Health Geographics
    • December 2011

    'Wikification of GIS by the masses' is a phrase-term first coined by Kamel Boulos in 2005, two years earlier than Goodchild's term 'Volunteered Geographic Information'. Six years later (2005-2011), OpenStreetMap and Google Earth (GE) are now full-fledged, crowdsourced 'Wikipedias of the Earth' par excellence, with millions of users contributing their own layers to GE, attaching photos, videos, notes and even 3-D (three dimensional) models to locations in GE. From using Twitter in participatory sensing and bicycle-mounted sensors in pervasive environmental sensing, to creating a 100,000-sensor geo-mashup using Semantic Web technology, to the 3-D visualisation of indoor and outdoor surveillance data in real-time and the development of next-generation, collaborative natural user interfaces that will power the spatially-enabled public health and emergency situation rooms of the future, where sensor data and citizen reports can be triaged and acted upon in real-time by distributed teams of professionals, this paper offers a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of the overlapping domains of the Sensor Web, citizen sensing and 'human-in-the-loop sensing' in the era of the Mobile and Social Web, and the roles these domains can play in environmental and public health surveillance and crisis/disaster informatics. We provide an in-depth review of the key issues and trends in these areas, the challenges faced when reasoning and making decisions with real-time crowdsourced data (such as issues of information overload, "noise", misinformation, bias and trust), the core technologies and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards involved (Sensor Web Enablement and Open GeoSMS), as well as a few outstanding project implementation examples from around the world.

  • Improving Categorisation in Social Media Using Hyperlinks to Structured Data Sources

    • Springer
    • June 11, 2011

    Social media presents unique challenges for topic classification, including the brevity of posts, the informal nature of conversations, and the frequent reliance on external hyperlinks to give context to a conversation. In this paper we investigate the usefulness of these external hyperlinks for categorising the topic of individual posts. We focus our analysis on objects that have related metadata available on the Web, either via APIs or as Linked Data. Our experiments show that the inclusion of metadata from hyperlinked objects in addition to the original post content significantly improved classifier performance on two disparate datasets. We found that including selected metadata from APIs and Linked Data gave better results than including text from HTML pages. We investigate how this improvement varies across different topics. We also make use of the structure of the data to compare the usefulness of different types of external metadata for topic classification in a social media dataset.

  • A semantic framework for modelling quotes in email conversations

    • Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Intelligent Semantic Web-Services and Applications, ISWSA 2010, Amman, Jordan, June 14-16, 2010. ACM
    • June 2010

    Quoting is a common practice in online conversations, notably in email discussions and bulletin boards. Despite many applications that offer special functionalities to handle them, there is no agreement on how to semantically represent these quotes, so that they could be queried and analysed uniformly whatever the original application is. While various Semantic Web models, notably SIOC, have become popular for interlinking, exporting and exchanging information about online communities and their conversations, they do not provide means to model such quotes. In this paper, we present (i) an OWL2 extension of SIOC for representing quotes and (ii) a framework for automated quotes extraction from email archives. In addition, we demonstrate the utility of such formal representation for querying email archives with finer-grained queries and for mining social networks based on the argumentative structure of email conversations.

  • Smart tools to easily discover and query decentralized Semantic Web data

    • March 1, 2007

    Even if more and more RDF data are available on the Semantic
    Web, finding and querying it is still difficult due to its decentralized nature.
    In this demo, we will detail a distributed architecture involving different
    scripts that interact with each other to help finding and querying such data,
    with emphasis on user participation and intuitive user interfaces. Key com-
    ponents of this architecture are the Semantic Radar used for discovery of
    Semantic Web data, Ping The Semantic Web service for aggregating loca-
    tions of RDF data and users of RDF data such as doap:store.

  • Collaborative discovery of Semantic Web content

    • November 1, 2006

    The Semantic Web is growing, but its size is still only a
    fraction of the Web and it is a difficult task to locate this
    information. Our purpose is to discover this amount of information
    by creating a ping service that aggregates notification
    about presence of Semantic Web documents on the
    Web by involving a human element (as an architecture of
    participation) in it by letting users to collaboratively discover
    Semantic Web content while browsing the Web. This
    ping service can be then used as a source of URLs for various
    Semantic Web applications. This paper will focus on
    this original and collaborative aspect of Semantic Web content
    discovery, as well as an analysis of the data gathered so

  • Extracting semantic entities and events from sports tweets

    • June 2011

    Entity detection from sports tweets.

  • Enrichment and ranking of the YouTube tag space and integration with the Linked Data cloud

    • Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2009, Volume 5823, pp. 747-762.

    Automatic tagging and enrichment of youtube videos.

  • User sentiment detection: a YouTube use case

    • July 30, 2010

    Sentiment detection from Youtube comments.

John Breslin's Education

National University of Ireland, Galway

Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education


National University of Ireland, Galway

PhD, Electronics


Activities and Societies: CompSoc, FanSci, MusicSoc

National University of Ireland, Galway

BE, Electronics


John Breslin's Additional Information


Semantic Web, social software, digital media, web design, social networks, blogs, bulletin boards, Japanese, science fiction, reading, travelling, domain names, electronic music, electronic engineering, sensors, ubiquitous web

Groups and Associations:

IEEE, IET, Engineers Ireland, IFUT

Honors and Awards:


ICEGOV best paper award for completed e-government research (2013)
Extended Semantic Web Conference seven-year most influential paper award (2012)
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics best paper award (2000)


IIA Net Visionary award for online trader (2006)
IIA Net Visionary award for social contribution (2005)
Winner of Golden Spider award for the readers' choice category (2001)
Winner of Zeddy award for the best community and leisure website (2001)

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