W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-sweo-ig@w3.org > February 2007

Open data linking community project.

From: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetilk@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 11:05:05 +0100
To: public-sweo-ig@w3.org, kidehen@openlinksw.com
Message-Id: <200702151105.06519.kjetilk@opera.com>

On Wednesday 14 February 2007 19:29, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> The Linking Data Project is in no shape of form Geek oriented. This
> is unfortunately an incorrect characterization of the project.
> The last thing Chris, Richard, Stefano, myself, and others have in
> mind is yet another Semantic Web Geek Project. We are all very
> anti-semantic-web-geek. This is why we have specifically set a goal
> to make this project usable by the hypothetical Grandma.
> Please send some specific questions about this project that can aid
> in correcting the current misconceptions.

Hi Kingsley!

I was hoping you would chime in on the meeting, but I guess you had some 
connection problems.

On one hand, I think you do appreciate the problem of getting semweb out 
to the masses at least as much as I do. Moreover, with all the 
commitments you have, I believe the project stands well on its own 
feet, and also merits a lot of attention from SWEO.

But OTOH, I don't quite see how this project, in its immediate form, 
will contribute to something that the average user can use. I feel that 
Tabulator is not ready for the average user, but Tabulator is useful 
for demonstrating key strengths of the Semantic Web. Applications that 
can allow average users to connect open data is clearly very good, and 
very much in line with the idea "we've got a billion people out there 
who can state that foo and bar is related" (as opposed to the 
stereotypical ontology approach "foo and bar is related through the 
ontology", the topic map "foo and bar is related because there exists 
resources that has both foo and bar" etc ;-) ). But there is no 
incentive for average people to participate in this unless there is an 
application that does make extensive use of it.

And I don't quite agree that there are only toy examples out there, 
there is like 17 million FOAF profiles, for example...

So, what I feel the answers to the questionnaire lacks is the 
application that combines Wikipedia, MusicBrainz and Geonames into 
something that will change my life. Something like "with these links 
between open data, we will create a plugin for Amarok, XMMS and WinAmp 
that allows users to find information about similar bands in the same 
geographical region". And then, argue why this approach is superior to 
just googling the names. 

And of course, I'm really happy about your offer to host the data 
source. I was a bit worried about where to host the data, as it will 
likely receive quite a lot of traffic. And evidently, it will be 
interesting to have linked data to the FOAF data. 

But I don't quite feel that the answers to how it would become 
widespread was adequate, and apparently other SWEO members agree. 

Now, I wouldn't want to influence the SWEO members too much. It could 
easily be that people think that "Kjetil created the questionnaire to 
suit his own project, duped SWEO into condoning it and then went out 
victorious". Which would be bad... 

So, I'll shut up now but I hope you can elaborate on that.


Kjetil Kjernsmo
Semantic Web Specialist
Opera Software ASA
Received on Thursday, 15 February 2007 10:05:23 UTC

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