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Re: SWEO - Thoughts, Not Slides

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 17:15:41 -0500
Message-ID: <47435C8D.3080909@openlinksw.com>
CC: "public-sweo-ig@w3.org" <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>

David Provost wrote:
> All -
> I've been thinking and working on my presentation ideas and seem to be 
> ending up with questions and thoughts, not slides. My thoughts are 
> still gelling, but off the top of my head (all assuming a business/CIO/CTO
> audience):
> 1. Businesses buy solutions to problems. They only buy technologies if 
> they plan to use them to either solve problems or build solutions for 
> same. (Companies don't buy Visual Basic or C, they buy MS Office.)
> 2. There is no reward for buying the latest technology for its own 
> sake. There is a very tangible reward for buying things that are 
> better, faster, cheaper, more flexible/adaptable, etc. As a matter of 
> fact, some might argue toward buying older, more proven technologies 
> that are more stable.
> 3. Since 2003 I've seen presentations from engineers and from business 
> people (who are painfully lacking in background) that focus more on 
> >how< a problem is solved rather than how the solution is >so much 
> better< than what's presently available - which leads to...
> 4. Economists use the term "substitute." An example is "My old car is 
> a fine substitute for a new car." Separately, Gallium Arsenide is an 
> excellent basis for microchips. Silicon hasn't been widely displaced 
> because it continues to get better and cheaper (Wikipedia does a great 
> job of summarizing this.) I believe there are substitutes for a lot of 
> what Semantic technology can do and that itís fair to say these 
> substitutes may or may not be better in closed- vs. open-world 
> environments. (The idea of data warehouses sounds great, but in 
> practice, their creation, maintenance, and usefulness can leave a lot 
> to be desired.)
> This leads to a central point in my thinking: When Web adoption became 
> mainstream, many corporations were caught severely lacking. (I believe 
> the decision to adopt the Web was simpler Ė you needed a computer, a 
> modem, a browser, a few other basic ingredients and you were in 
> business.) Aside from selling specific solutions to specific problems, 
> how can corporations be convinced to broadly invest in a 
> non-proprietary technology now, so that they aren't left behind again? 
> Or is the correct approach to highlight solutions first, and mention 
> that Semantic technology powers them second? Perhaps a starting point 
> is to pose the question ďWhat are the most mature aspects of the 
> Semantic Web and what problems are these aspects best suited to solving?Ē
> Iíve attached a presentation that portrays corporate IT portfolios as 
> an investment portfolio, which takes the form of a pyramid. The most 
> risky investments are at the top, which means that only a small amount 
> of money is being put at risk. Thoughts on the usefulness of this 
> perspective might be helpful.
> 5. All this leads me to identify those things that SemWeb technology 
> relies on as its main claims: Data integration, application 
> interoperation, reasoning, and the fact that itís Web based. My 
> approach to SWEO would be to ask "Why is a SemWeb approach to these 
> things better than existing substitutes?" Iím convinced these points 
> can be broken down in convincing fashion, itís just that I think Iím 
> realizing I need to discuss these issues/questions, not assert a position.
> Iím looking forward to discussing these points on tomorrowís SWEO 
> conference call.
> David
> *
> David Provost
> */Product Manager, Platform
> /Metatomix, Inc.
> 3 Allied Drive, Ste 210
> Dedham, MA 02026
> (781.254.2769
> _dprovost@metatomix.com
> _
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Nice stuff!

The next step is clear isolation of specific impact areas (these could 
be emphasized in color) re. the Semantic Data Web technologies. For 
example, Value Disciplines (also known as: Market Leadership 
Disciplines) is one area where use of Semantic Web Technologies can get 
somewhat confusing in a lot of today's messaging.

I won't be on the call tomorrow, unfortunately, so we may have to 
continue the conversation electronically for now :-)



Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 22:15:51 UTC

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