Thursday, June 12, 2008

Semantic Web

Among my eclectic interests is the semantic web. What, you may ask, is that? According to Project10X's ( ) Semantic Wave 2008 Report: Industry Roadmap to Web 3.0 & Multibillion Dollar Market Opportunities (February 2008), the semantic web is Web 3.0. They define it thus:

The next stage, Web 3.0, is starting now. It is about representing meanings, connecting knowledge, and putting these to work in ways that make our experience of internet more relevant, useful, and enjoyable....Over the next decade, Web 3.0 will spawn multi-billion dollar technology markets that will drive trillion dollar global economic expansions to transform industries as well as our experience of the internet....The basic shift occurring in Web 3.0 is from information-centric to knowledge-centric patterns of computing. Web 3.0 will enable people and machines to connect, evolve, share, and use knowledge on an unprecedented scale and in new ways that make our experience of the internet better....When knowledge is encoded in a semantic form, it becomes transparent and accessible at any time to a variety of reasoning engines.

My friend Eric Hoffer has a blog that discusses semantic technology as a tool to use in business and life (click on the headline to get to his site). One of the people he refers to is Dave McComb of Semantic Arts who gave an excellent introductory presentation at the recent Semantic Technology Conference on the west coast. He says that the possibilities of the semantic web are to:

1) augment existing information - combining anything we know with other things we know and deriving inferences based on what we know.
2) give us freedom from tyranny of traditional schema - allowing us to access information in a variety of ways.
3) provide a way to get past keywords as the approach to search, with all their limitations.

Honestly, I don't really understand all of this. However. I am convinced that this is the kind of technology that will help change the world. So I'm following it and linking up to people who are doing the same.

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