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

From: David Wood <dwood@softwarememetics.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 15:51:18 -0400
Message-Id: <5433F461-387F-4E3B-83D9-9116762DDAF2@softwarememetics.com>
Cc: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>, "'public-rdf-in-xhtml task force'" <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
To: Ben Adida <ben@MIT.EDU>

Hi all,

I am *horrible* at naming things, but I like the ideas regarding a  
name which stresses extensibility, and a relationship to HTML  
authors.  eXtensible HTML Metadata (XHM) comes to mind, but see the  
caveat above.


On 8 Apr2006, at 15:46, Ben Adida wrote:

> Mark,
> 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  
> authority.
> I don't have a good suggestion yet, but maybe this will spark more  
> ideas from Mark :)
> -Ben
> 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
>> CEO
>> 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 19:51:27 UTC

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