Standards as social contracts: "Looking at Dave Winer's efforts in evangelizing OPML, I try to draw some rough lines into what makes a de-facto standard. De Facto standards are made and seldom happen on their own. In this entry, I look back at the history of HTML, RSS, the open source movement and try to draw some lines as to what makes a standard.


(Via Tristan Louis.)

I posted a comment to the Tristan Louis' post along the following lines:

Analysis is spot on re. the link between de facto standardization and bootstrapping. Likewise, the clear linkage between boostrapping and connected communities (a variation of the social networking paradigm).

Dave built a community around a XML content syndication and subscription usecase demo that we know today as the blogosphere. Superficially, one may conclude that Semantic Web vision has suffered to date from a lack a similar bootstrap effort. Whereas in reality, we are dealing with "time and context" issues that are critical to the base understanding upon which a "Dave Winer" style bootstrap for the Semantic Web would occur.

Personally, I see the emergence of Web 2.0 (esp. the mashups phenomenon) as the "time and context" seeds from which the Semantic Web bootstrap will sprout. I see shared ontologies such as FOAF and SIOC leading the way (they are the RSS 2.0's of the Semantic Web IMHO).