A defining characteristic of the Data Web (Context Oriented Web 3.0) is that it facilitates Meshups rather than Mashups.

Quick Definitions:

    Mashups - Brute force joining of disparate Web Data
    Meshups - Natural joining of disparate Web Data

Reasons for the distinction:

    Mashups are Data Model oblivious.
    Meshups are Data Model driven.


    Mashups are based on RSS 2.0 most of the time (RSS 2.0 is at best a Tree Structure that contains untyped or meaning challenged links.
    Meshups are RDF based and the data is self describing since the links are typed (posses inherent meaning thereby providing context).

So what? You may be thinking.

For starters, I can quite easily Mesh data from Googlebase (which emits RSS 2.0 or Atom) and other data sources with the Mapping Services from Yahoo!

I can achieve this in minutes without writing a single line of code. I can do it because of the Data Model prowess of RDF (self-describing instance-data), the data interchange and transformation power of XML and XSLT respectively, the inherent power of XML based Web Services (REST or SOAP), and of course, having a Hybrid Server product like Virtuoso at my disposal that delivers a cross platform solution for exploiting all of these standards coherently.

I can share the self-describing describing data source that serves my Meshup. Try reusing the data presented by a Mashup via the same URL that you used to locate Mashup to get my drift.

Demo Links:

  1. Googlebase Query URL as an RDF Data Source
  2. Perform a simple Data Mesh by adding (via link copy and paste) this Upcoming.org Query Services URL for Ajax Events to the RDF Browsers list of Data Sources (paste into the Data Source URI input field).

What does this all mean?

"Context" is the catalyst of the burgeoning Data Web (Semantic Web Layer - 1). It's the emerging appreciation of "Context" that is driving the growing desire to increment Web versions from 2.0 to 3.0. It also the the very same "Context" that has been a preoccupation of Semantic Web vision since its inception.

The journey towards a more Semantic Web is all inclusive (all "ANDs" and no "ORs" re. participation).

The Semantic Web is self-annotating. Web 2.0 has provided a huge contribution to the self annotation effort: on the Web we now have Data Spaces for Bookmarks (e.g del.icio.us), Image Galleries ( e.g Flickr), Discussion Forums (remember those comments associated with blog posts? ditto the pingbacks and trackbacks?), People Profiles (FOAF, XFN, del.icio.us, and those crumbling walled-gardens around many Social Networks), and more..

A Web without granular access to Data is simply not a Web worth having (think about the menace of click-fraud and spam).