Conflation is the tech industry's equivalent of macroeconomic inflation. Whenever it rears it head, we lose value courtesy of diminishing productivity.

Looking retrospectively at any technology failure -- enterprises or industry at large -- you will eventually discover -- at the core -- messy conflation of at least one of the following:

  1. Data Model (Semantics)
  2. Data Object (Entity) Names (Identifiers)
  3. Data Representation Syntax (Markup)
  4. Data Access Protocol
  5. Data Presentation Syntax (Markup)
  6. Data Presentation Media.

The Internet & World Wide Web (InterWeb) are massive successes because their respective architectural cores embody the critical separation outlined above.

The Web of Linked Data is going to become a global reality, and massive success, because it leverages inherently sound architecture -- bar conflationary distractions of RDF. :-)