Unfortunately, I could only spend 4 days at the recent WWW2008 event in Beijing (I departed the morning following the Linked Data Workshop), so I couldn't take my slot on the "Commercializing the Semantic Web panel" etc.. Anyway, thanks to the Web I can still inject my points of view in the broad Web based discourse. Well so I hoped, when I attempted to post a comment to Paul Miller's ZDNet domain hosted blog thread titled: Commercialising the Semantic Web.

Unfortunately, the cost of completing ZDNet's unwieldy signup process simply exceeded the benefits of dropping my comments in their particular space :-( Thus, I'll settle for a trackback ping instead.

What follows is the cut and paste of my intended comment contributions to Paul's post.


As discussed earlier this week during our podcast session, commercialization of Semantic Web technology shouldn't be a mercurial matter at this stage in the game :-) It's all about looking at how it provides value :-)

From the Linked Data angle, the ability to produce, dispatch, and exploit "Context" across an array of "Perspectives" from a plethora of disparate data sources on the Web and/or behind corporate firewalls, offers immense commercial value.

Yahoo's Searchmonkey effort will certainly bring clarity to some of the points I made during the podcast re. the role of URIs as "value consumption tickets" (Data Services are exposed via URIs). There has to be a trigger (in user space) that compels Web users to seek broader, or simply varied, perspectives as a response to data encountered on the Web. Yahoo! is about to put this light on in a big way (imho).

The "self annotating" nature of the Web is what ultimately drives the manifestation of the long awaited Semantic Web. I believe I postulated about "Self Annotation & the Semantic Web" in a number of prior posts which, by the way, should be DataRSS compatible right now due to Yahoo's support of OpenSearch Data Providers (which this Blog Space has been for eons).

Today, have many communities adding strucuture to the Web (via their respective tools of preference) without explicitly realizing what they are contributing. Every RSS/Atom feed, Tag, Weblog, Shared Bookmark, Wikiword, Microformat, Microformat++ (eRDF or RDFa), GRDDL stylesheet, and RDFizer etc.. is a piece of structured data.

Finally, the different communities are all finding ways to work together (thank heavens!) and the results are going to be cataclysmic when it all plays out :-)

Data, Structure, and Extraction are the keys to the Semantic Life! First you get the Data in a container (information resource), and then you add Structure to the information resource (RSS, Atom, microformats, RDFa, eRDF, SIOC, FOAF, etc.), once you have Structure RDFization (i.e. transformation to Linked Data) is a synch thanks to RDF Middleware (as per earlier RDF middleware posts).