W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > October 2007

Re: A new Semantic Web logo?

From: Ian B. Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 14:48:11 +0000
To: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Cc: bnowack@semsol.com, semantic-web@w3.org
Message-Id: <1192200491.6442.56.camel@localhost>
On Fri, 2007-10-12 at 16:41 +0200, Richard Cyganiak wrote:
> Benjamin,
> 
> Thanks for the background. This is much appreciated.
> 
> Here are some concrete gripes I have with the usage policy.

Hi Richard,

Thank you for the input. We will review the suggestions and 
try to have answers by early next week. I will say that one
challenge is finding the right balance between trying to maintain
consistent usage of the logo ('more control by W3C') and promoting 
modifications to fit user needs in context ('less control by W3C').
I can see the case for both and are thinking about this question
actively.

Best,

 _ Ian


> 1. It should be allowed to use the logos to link to particular  
> deployments of the technologies they represent. It should be allowed  
> to use the SPARQL version of the logo to link to a SPARQL query form.  
> It should be allowed to use the RDF version of the logo to link to an  
> RDF variant of the current page.
> 
> 2. It should be allowed to use a tiny version of the cube symbol  
> independently from the other parts of the logo, as a design element  
> to represent “a resource” or “the Semantic Web”. For example, imagine  
> a list of search results, each of which is RDF-described (per  
> embedded RDFa, perhaps). I would like to place a tiny cube next to  
> each result, to indicate that viewing the current page in an RDF- 
> capable browser would provide data about these things. As another  
> example, the tiny cube would be an excellent element for toolbar- 
> style icons -- it's obvious how to make icons for “export to the  
> Semantic Web”, “import from the Semantic Web”, “search on the  
> Semantic Web”, lots of possibilities.
> 
> 3. It should be allowed to remix the logo, for example to create  
> logos for specific applications, technologies or projects. Just look  
> at [1] -- I cannot imagine it's in W3C's interest to inhibit such  
> displays of creativity.
> 
> I would appreciate if SWEO and the W3C Communications team would  
> reconsider and modify the policy to make uses such as the examples  
> above possible.
> 
> Best,
> Richard
> 
> [1] http://www.siatec.net/grddl/grddl_01.png
> 
> 
> 
> On 12 Oct 2007, at 15:01, Benjamin Nowack wrote:
> 
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > Let me try to explain the process we went through, and I'll also try
> > to address some of the usage-related concerns (Ian, please correct
> > me if I'm wrong). This is going to become a long mail, I fear..
> >
> > Note: I'm just an invited geek to the SWEO group. I'm neither a
> > W3C member nor a member of the communications team. I can't speak for
> > them, but I'm happy to collect any constructive feedback and forward
> > it. (The chosen SemWeb logo isn't even one of the proposals I made,
> > so don't think I'm defending it for personal reasons.)
> >
> > First: Don't panic, please. The logos are up for two days now, after
> > more than six months of fights, creating drafts, and gathering
> > feedback from several W3C groups. I don't agree with the current
> > usage wording either, but we tried to push things quite a bit from
> > the SWEO side, so I assume that's why the Comm team kept the
> > guidelines more restrictive for now. The overall objective is to
> > develop a branding and marketing strategy for the Semantic Web, as
> > developed by the various W3C groups and the SemWeb community.
> > If there are issues with how the visual elements are supposed to
> > be used, then let's just discuss and solve them. Something like
> > the RDF icon usge ("if appropriate, link to ...") for example sounds
> > quite good to me. Anyway, it's still *very* early (look at the sw
> > activity homepage, even they didn't properly incorporate the
> > logo yet and get rid of the non-transparent white background).
> >
> > The SemWeb logo is *not* a replacement for the great RDF icon
> > or other (future) technology logos. It's a technology-independent
> > addition. And it makes sense to keep the SemWeb logo separate
> > from the technologies. One of the first reactions on this list was
> > that people wanted to replace their RDF download icons with the
> > SemWeb one. That's what should *not* happen. That's not what
> > it's for.
> >
> > It could make sense, however, to use the semweb icon as an
> > identifier for extended functionality, e.g. for semantically
> > enhanced links. That's one of the usage questions I had, and the
> > Comm team said, that'd most probably be fine. So, let's talk and
> > clarify, not scream. Give them some time to align the branding
> > plans with our suggestions.
> >
> > And, we are all so gifted when it comes to nit-picking, let's
> > see what the "usage" paragraph says *exactly*:
> >    "without requesting permission [...] provided that [...]".
> >
> > So, this doesn't exclude other uses, it just plays it safe for
> > now and asks for confirmation, which I think is fair, given
> > the amount of work that went into the whole branding effort
> > (of which the icons are just one part).
> >
> >
> > Some background info for the whole branding effort:
> >
> > We tried to create a logo/button/seal for SWEO-recommended sites
> > back in march. That quickly evolved into the idea of creating a
> > logo for the whole SWEO group, plus various sub-logos for the
> > different sub-projects within SWEO. After two months or so of
> > proposals and finally reaching sort-of-consensus just within
> > SWEO, we were approached by the Comm team which suggested to
> > extend the effort and create something for the whole SemWeb
> > initiative instead. We sighed (but also saw the utility)
> > and started from scratch.
> >
> > We really wanted to accelerate things a little, and yes, we
> > knew that doing this behind SWEO doors would cause negative
> > reactions. (The process wasn't *that* closed actually, I pinged
> > several working groups, asking for feedback about whether we
> > should create technology-specific logos, a single, generic one,
> > or if they wanted a combination. I only received responses from
> > those groups that had people with design skill on board, and
> > they were basically happy with us taking the lead, as long as
> > this would reduce delays.) I personally favoured a more open
> > process when we started, but if I learned one thing in the last
> > months, then it's that everyone is very good at criticizing once
> > the work is done (by others, of course), and that you can waste
> > an endless amount of time (it's design, there are infinite options)
> > coming up with yet another design proposal and never reaching
> > consensus. (Bernard's comment is a perfect example, although the
> > SWEO members were always mannered enough to not get insulting.)
> >
> > Bottom line: We knew that it'd be impossible to make everyone
> > happy anyway. So, it felt just more reasonable and practical to
> > leave the job to the pros. And we were lucky to have them (they
> > are still so hard to find in the semweb community). And the logo
> > is really a nice one. We saw quite a number of alternative
> > proposals, and I'm confident that the selected logo is going
> > to help us successfully promote the Semantic Web idea.
> >
> > Unleash your data /
> > Think out of the box /
> > There's more inside of the building blocks /
> > ...
> >
> >
> > Benji
> >
> > Congrats, you've reached the end of this mail.
> >
> > --
> > Benjamin Nowack
> > http://bnode.org/
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
-- 
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447

Received on Friday, 12 October 2007 14:48:24 GMT

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