Last week I attended the Fifth International Semantic Web Conference (more reports will follow), and it was interesting indeed.
At the moment we see that Semantic Web is picked up by big business, and that more and more people are putting data on the web. For example, Yahoo Food uses RDF for some detail problems (see Dave Beckett’s post). Bot looking on the semantic web website, I see no guide how to enable my website to be semantic-web conformant. The best practices group published documents how to use it, but they aren’t so easy to find and may not cover everything (for example 303 redirects).
I am annoyed by organizations like rorweb.com , that make advertisment for “RDF-like” solutions, because:
- they have great websites that tell you how to use metadata in 5 minutes
- they look good
- they got statements in the sense of “Our company uses RDF and it changed my life. TCO lowered, ROI is sooner and RDF cleans my teeth while I sleep. Vernor Doe, CEO of example.com”.
- we don’t have such a site
Look at the classical version of foaf-project.org: a limited simple site, saying what it is, how to use it and who uses it. Perfect.
So I explained this view of mine at the web 2.0 panel at the conference and asked “Why can’t the W3C hire one marketing person that creates such a “how to use Semantic Web for dummies” website?”
Reactions were negative, TimBl said that W3C is a standards organization and does not make marketing, Dave Beckett says (and blogs) that he does not want a hype and should instead:
Start from concrete data-centric approaches that build up to use layers of technology solutions to different problems as they emerge, only if needed and demonstrating usefulness at each stage.
Indee, but the use should be shown on a simple example and some success stories – we need a website to collect those. And we need a few guys that transfer the knowledge into understandable bullet points and demos. So TimBl suggested that instead of hiring a marketeer, Leo should just join the Semantic Web Education and Outreach (SWEO) group. Point.
[Update]: Antoni Mylka found a video of this panel discussion, and thus of this discussion.
So, I will evaluate if my current position allows me joining SWEO and if yes, try to contribute somehow to better marketing.
My statement would be: Yes, we need a hype for Semantic Web. Buzzword it out, smush your data, swoogle the web, make the Service Oriented Architecture that takes metadata middleware and enterprise application application integration to the next level.
lookout for our upcoming guide for concept URIs (based on 303 redirect and hash-uris) and more…