W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > July 2012

Re: Linked Data Business Models?

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2012 15:42:52 +0100
Message-ID: <50154BEC.1080702@webr3.org>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
CC: "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> All,
> There is a tendency assume an eternal lack of functional and scalable 
> business models with regards to Linked Data. I think its time for an 
> open discussion about this matter.
> It's no secret, I've never seen business models as challenging Linked 
> Data. Quite the contrary. That said, instead of a dump from me about my 
> viewpoints on Linked Data models, how about starting this discussion by 
> identifying any non "Advertising based business model" that have 
> actually worked on the Web to date.
> As far as I know, "Advertising" and "Surreptitious Personal Profile Data 
> Wholesale" are the only models that have made a difference to the bottom 
> lines of: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! and other non eCommerce 
> oriented behemoths.
> Based on the above, let's have a serious and frank discussion about 
> business models with the understanding agreement that one size will 
> never fit all, ever, so this rule cannot be overlooked re. Linked Data. 
> Also remember, Business models aren't silver bullets, they are typically 
> aligned with markets (qualified and quantified pain points) and the 
> evolving nature of tangible and monetizable value.
> Hopefully, the floor is now open to everyone that has a vested interest 
> in this very important matter :-)

Perhaps linked data is the very thing hindering itself.

To explain, RDF/EAV, linked data principals and general sem-webery would 
vastly improve every single project, system, application, and website 
I've ever made for commercial clients.

However, the primary gains come from use *behind* the public interface, 
at the data and business logic tiers.

For sure that event management system I made a few years ago for big 
internationals would have, and for sure the stock management & reporting 
system I made a decade ago would have, and likewise every other project 
in between.

Linked (open) data is great, but when all the focus is on skinny public 
data, and systems themselves aren't built on the core principals, and 
investors / clients don't see the benefits to their back end business, 
then there isn't much call for them to use it.

This "business models" discussion confuses me, as every business model, 
and every business I've ever encountered, would greatly benefit from all 
the sem-webbery goodness., and greatful for it.

The adoption costs are still high though, the ontologies are often 
focussed on skinny "public" data, and ultimately who's using any of 
what's been created in a normal web based business environment.

Seriously, who here has an ecommerce shop which runs on linked data / 
rdf (as opposed to exposing it through gr, microdata etc)?
who has a stock inventory and reporting system where the core (not 
secondary/additional) database is an RDF one?
who's running a contextually aware infotizing/advertising network where 
all the data is linked/rdf?

The business models all exist already, and sem web / linked data can be 
applied to each of them.

But who's going to build things on linked open data, when they aren't 
already using it behind the public interface in their own business?

And to those who've tried, I'm sure you'll agree that there's still a 
fair bit of work to be done in order to build full business apps on top 
of rdf & linked data, many unanswered questions, and big learning curves 
for those who try.

Things are improving though, perhaps just needs an extra kick from 
people using RDF/linked data behind the public interface, instead of 
creating demo's using skinny public data.


Received on Sunday, 29 July 2012 14:43:43 UTC

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