W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org > April 2006

Re: Save shelfspace with RDF/A [was RE: The RDF/A Marketing Site]

From: Ben Adida <ben@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 15:46:27 -0400
Message-Id: <15D73136-DD34-4F29-884B-D75E0DD9BF00@mit.edu>
Cc: "'public-rdf-in-xhtml task force'" <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>


Excellent points. I particularly like having a tag line.

I disagree that the name is meaningless, though. We don't have a  
marketing budget, so having a name that is easy to remember, easy to  
spell, and easy to search for is fairly important. We also want to  
ensure that the name is well targeted to our audience. On both of  
these fronts, RDF/A has issues. The "/" remains a big issue. And the  
"RDF" will mislead HTML authors into thinking that this is not  
targeted at them. We should consider a name that will be a bit more  
attractive to HTML authors. That doesn't mean the ones I suggested  
are good, I'm just saying we should take some time to think about this.

As for the tag line.... of course I like the one Mark suggests :) But  
again, I wonder if it connotes the wrong thing to HTML authors who  
have, for better or worse, been scared away from the "semantic web."  
I'm thinking "bridging the clickable and semantic web" might be best  
for the semantic web audience, not the HTML authors.

Can we find a way to ease HTML authors into it a bit more? Maybe by  
highlighting how this is different from Microformats? Extensibility  
comes to mind. Modularity comes to mind. Independence of publishers  
is also a big deal - It's not about schemas approved by a central  

I don't have a good suggestion yet, but maybe this will spark more  
ideas from Mark :)


On Apr 8, 2006, at 12:10 PM, Mark Birbeck wrote:

> Hello all,
> In response to Ben's excellent 'kick-start' of a marketing plan,  
> I'd like to
> say a few things on the naming issue. My comments are in response  
> to general
> points that that have been made in meetings and on the list, but I  
> won't try
> to find all the references since the things I'm saying are pretty  
> general.
>> 1) A New Name
>> I support the idea of picking a new name that is more
>> marketable than 'RDF/A'. This is our last opportunity to
>> think of a better name before we have to stick with it. The
>> name should attempt to convey some of the following concepts:
>> HTML, web, extensible, embedded.
>> Some Ideas to get us started (yes, some of these are
>> strawmen, but strawman-status is in the eye of the beholder):
>> HERMES - Html Embedded Rdf Metadata with ExtenSibility XIM -
>> Xtensible Interoperable Metadata WebMIM - Web Meta
>> Information Module WebFormats
>> (please submit more ideas!)
> I have to say I disagree with renaming. Don't get me wrong, I don't  
> think
> RDF/A is a great name. But naming is such a subjective thing that I  
> will
> happily take bets that a discussion about names on this list will  
> be a total
> waste of time.
> So, my view is that although I have no problems with a name change,  
> I think
> it will take up too much of our time to discuss, especially when we  
> are
> unlikely to come up with anything.
> The thing about names is that it really does not matter: people  
> happily buy
> and rent 'DVDs'; they discuss whether they need more 'RAM'; some  
> years ago
> my mum told me that she had decided to upgrade her computer to 'a  
> 486';
> people lean across the table in the pub, pick up a friend's phone,  
> and say
> "Oh, you've got the new 3250".
> None of this is to say that if someone came up with a fantastic,  
> descriptive
> name it wouldn't get my vote--I'm not saying it *must* be called  
> "xcmm3" or
> something obtuse, just for the sake of it. But unless the name is
> light-years ahead of "RDF/A" I don't see the point--picking on the  
> strawmen
> "HERMES" and "XIM" for example, they don't actually convey anything  
> about
> what we're doing.
> Far from it. But the reason I want to sound an air of caution is  
> because
> what often happens is people start to believe that something will  
> *only* be
> successful if it has a funky name, and I don't want us to fall into  
> this
> trap. If the technology of 'RDF/A' is successful it will be because  
> the
> examples are clear, the use cases are broad, the requirement is widely
> present, early adopters are vocal, and so on. That's 'real'  
> marketing and
> gives us the best chance of success. If we achieve success it won't  
> be down
> to the name.
> Whilst the name of our technology will make close to zero  
> difference to its
> adoption, the one-liner--so-called elevator pitch--could. Putting  
> on an old
> Disney video for my son to watch the other day, I was surprised to  
> see that
> one of the opening adverts was from Disney itself telling you how  
> you could
> now get all of its films on DVD, and they took up far less space on  
> your
> shelves than videos!
> I don't recall if that was the standard way of extolling the  
> virtues of DVDs
> when they were new, and of course it sounds laughably dated now  
> that DVDs
> are so commonplace. But it's a good illustration of how the name is  
> less
> significant than the benefits that something offers.
> So for me the thing to 'capture' is finding that sentence--in other  
> words,
> how much shelf-space does RDF/A take up?
> One strong candidate is something Ben said ages ago which is the  
> idea of:
>   "bridging the clickable and semantic webs"
> The key thing about the 'elevator pitch' is not that it conveys  
> *all* of our
> ideas, but that it gives us a constant base, a foundation, onto which
> everything else is layered. So we know that RDF/A is 'more' than  
> just making
> clickable links semantic, but we can explain all of that on the new  
> site.
> What we're looking for here is something that (a) keeps us focused  
> when we
> plan to write about it, do presentations on it, write tutorials or  
> give
> examples on it, and (b) is the thing that we always ensure people  
> take away
> about RDF/A, even if they take away nothing else.
> I would say that of all the things that RDF/A can do, at this  
> moment in time
> [*] it is the ability to derive semantic information from links  
> that have
> been placed in a 'normal' document, that is probably key. I think this
> 'base' idea contains within it everything about 'embedding', using  
> current
> mark-up, ease of authoring, unlimited formats (not the four  
> microformats),
> decentralisation (rather than the centralised nature of  
> microformats), and
> so on.
> So even if we were to continue with a renaming exercise, I'd strongly
> recommend that the process would have to begin with finding this  
> one-liner
> first--we need to know what we're selling before we can name it.
> [*] I say "this moment in time" only because there is no reason why  
> the
> 'pitch' might not change in the future and some other feature get  
> brought to
> the fore.
> Success is not going be based on the name, but on having a clear  
> message
> about what the *purpose* of RDF/A is and what it lets you do that you
> couldn't do before. Getting bogged down in naming is not a great  
> use of
> time.
> We do however, need to agree on our 'elevator pitch'. If a name  
> flows from
> that then great, but the one-liner is crucial. My vote goes for  
> something
> like:
>   "RDF/A bridges the clickable and semantic webs."
>   "RDF/A: bridging the clickable and semantic webs."
> (I really like the second one, and I think "Bridging the clickable and
> semantic webs" would be a good strapline for the forthcoming web  
> site--it
> conveys a nice active sense, since we know that these two webs  
> *need* to be
> bridged, and we also know that up until now they haven't been, and  
> we know
> that we have more work to do.)
> Hopefully Ben hasn't trademarked these, since my backup suggestion  
> is not so
> good:
>   "RDF/A takes up less room on your shelves."
> Regards,
> Mark
> Mark Birbeck
> x-port.net Ltd.
> e: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net
> t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
> b: http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/
> w: http://www.formsPlayer.com/
> Download our XForms processor from
> http://www.formsPlayer.com/
Received on Saturday, 8 April 2006 19:46:40 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:50:20 UTC