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Re: How to pitch the semantic web (was: is there a Enquire/Semantic Desktop link?)

From: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 12:23:01 +0100
Cc: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com>, SWIG <semantic-web@w3.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <37B63CB3-CF0C-4CC8-B660-748379A745D9@ebusiness-unibw.org>
To: ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program <metadataportals@yahoo.com>, Leo Sauermann <leo.sauermann@gnowsis.com>
My definite advice would be to avoid the words "semantic", "ontology",  
"linked data", "reasoning", "artificial intelligence", "triple", and  
"RDF" in any pitch. Marketing in theory and practice has taught for at  
least 50 years that the needs of customers should be the starting  
point and the centerpiece of any business, and NOT what technology or  
skills you have.

99% of the Semantic Web pitches I have seen try to sell a technology  
and not a solution to a problem. They start from their worlds and not  
from the worlds of their potential customers. Starting with your  
technology approach and then inventing a problem may work in academia  
and may be sufficient for acquiring research grants, but it will not  
work in the marketplace.

I recently listened to a startup pitch in the context of GoodRelations:

Me: What's your key innovation?
They: "We are 100 % semantic"

;-)

As for the semantic desktop application, my main questions would be :

1. What expertise do you have in HCI? Can you an develop Apple-quality  
user interfaces, engineered to perfection, scientifically validated to  
meet the cognitive skills and work patterns of users? All underlying  
RDF technology is irrelevant if the GUI is not as good as that of an  
iPhone etc. And that is a skill completely separate from the  
"semantic" sphere, and it will be a key requirement for success. You  
can likely not outsource it to a contracted interface designer.

2. How likely is it that your approach can be perfectly integrated  
into the top 3 operating systems and top 10 application software  
packages, in particular OS X, Windows, MS Office?

It does not matter whether anybody, however famous, endorses your  
product. Amazon, Google, eBay, Twitter, and Facebook all made it  
without such endorsement.


Martin

PS: Two book recommendations:

Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian: Information Rules,. A Strategic Guide to  
the Network Econonomy
Oz Shy: The Economics fo Network Industries

PS: Note that Hal Varian is Chief Economist at Google


On 01.12.2010, at 13:57, ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program wrote:

> If you want to pitch the semantic web, have a look at the following  
> news article:
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11797840
>
> 23 November 2010 Last updated at 09:32 GMT. Why the future of search  
> is social
> By Mark Ward Technology correspondent, BBC News
>
> In my humble opinion there are three ways to enhance web search, one  
> is by user profiling, which tries to pigeonhole users by predefined  
> templates and web usage behavioral statistics.
>
> The second is by use of semantic web technologies which search for  
> semantically linked content.
>
> The third is by defining search based on culture, cultural behavior,  
> or more particularly group behaviors based on commonly shared  
> values, needs or other criteria.
>
> The obvious linkup of Bing and FaceBook and the intention of Google  
> to invent an improved social search will have to rely on a mix of  
> all three technologies.
>
> Which brings us back to the original thread of the Semantic Desktop:  
> it needs to incorporate some of this cultural modeling, or in its  
> bare essence modeling of peer groups and social network and  
> professional network structures.
>
> And I definitely would not want to pitch S.E.M.A.N.T.I.C. as proposed.
>
> Milton Ponson
> GSM: +297 747 8280
> PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
> Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
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>
> --- On Tue, 11/30/10, Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> From: Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: How to pitch the semantic web (was: is there a Enquire/ 
> Semantic Desktop link?)
> To: "Melvin Carvalho" <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
> Cc: "Leo Sauermann" <leo.sauermann@gnowsis.com>, "ProjectParadigm- 
> ICT-Program" <metadataportals@yahoo.com>, "SWIG" <semantic- 
> web@w3.org>, "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>
> Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 10:20 PM
>
> How have you pitched this to?
>
> Does it work?
>
> Juan Sequeda
> +1-575-SEQ-UEDA
> www.juansequeda.com
>
>
> On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 1:11 PM, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com 
> > wrote:
> Acronym
> =======
>
> I have come up with the following acronym: S.E.M.A.N.T.I.C. to
> describe what I see as the 8 big components of the Semantic Web.
>
> The URI is the value proposition because Universality leads to
> interop.  Interop will provide huge value to both end users and
> businesses.  A good company will be able to capture some of that
> value.
>
> In each case I've added an early adopter.
>
>
> The 8 Components of the SEMANTIC Web
> =====================================
>
> Social - MySpace
>
> Entertainment - YouTube
>
> Markets - Ebay
>
> Access (inc. mobile access) - Microsoft
>
> Nearby Services (geo / local etc.) - data.gov.uk
>
> Trust - Verisign
>
> Information Management - Google
>
> Currencies - PayPal
>
>
> Interop
> =======
>
> Two case studies to note cover more than one aspect, show the power of
> interop.
>
> - Facebook, a basic social solution with a basic trust system adds
> more value then each individually.
>
> - Zynga a basic social system with a basic entertainment system gets
> you from 0 to 5 billion in 3 years
>
> That's what you can do with some mild interop with 2-3 out of the 8  
> components.
>
> The Sem Web has the potential to give us 8/8 if we all work together
> to make great solutions in each field.  The good news is that we're
> underway in each area.  I think it has started to happen, 2011 I see
> the first demos springing up, and growing to a much more collaborative
> effort going forward.
>
> We need to specialize but also work together.  In this way, the Web
> gets better, and everyone wins.
>
>
> On 22 November 2010 17:42, Leo Sauermann <leo.sauermann@gnowsis.com>  
> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > well there is David Siegel and "PULL", which is a kind of "marketing
> > brochure" for the semantic web (and more, including David, but  
> that is fine
> > with me).
> > http://thepowerofpull.com/pull/blog
> > http://vimeo.com/16248196 - not the quality of a TED talk, but  
> aiming
> > towards it... do we have better videos?
> >
> > and it seems he gets a lot of keynotes from it, which is also fine.
> > so these keynotes may be the ad videos we need.
> >
> > We had these discussions within the W3C Semantic Web Education and  
> Outreach
> > Interest Group (SWEO) when I was there. The point back then was:  
> the W3C
> > communications team *could* do some videos and publicity, but in  
> general the
> > W3C policy is to spend the money on standardization, not  
> advertisments.
> >
> > This W3C policy is of course thwarted by the funny example of
> > dataportability.org who (I follow them since years) spend all the  
> budget on
> > marketing ;-) and they get good coverage and have good explanation  
> of their
> > ideas.
> >
> > Perfect Future to pitch the Semantic Web:
> > The marketing power of dataportability and the standardization  
> process of
> > W3C.
> >
> >
> > Well, I am not pitching the semantic web anyway, this is well done  
> by the
> > LOD crowd and the data.gov crowd excellently. I only have to pitch  
> semantic
> > pim, and to make it as well as David Siegel or the DataPortability  
> folks, I
> > would need a 24/7 job to just pitch and pitch and write books and  
> give
> > keynotes and travel and... :-|
> >
> > best
> > Leo
> >
> > It was ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program who said at the right time  
> 22.11.2010
> > 17:29 the following words:
> >
> > ...
> >
> > As for quantum mechanics and string theory, at least these have  
> had popular
> > science programs on TV in the US and UK try to convey in the  
> simplest
> > possible terms what these theories are all about.
> >
> > The semantic web has yet to get the same coverage.
> >
> > --
> > Leo Sauermann, Dr.
> > CEO and Founder
> >
> > mail: leo.sauermann@gnowsis.com
> > mobile: +43 6991 gnowsis
> > http://www.gnowsis.com
> >
> > helping people remember,
> >
> > so join our newsletter
> > http://www.gnowsis.com/about/content/newsletter
> > ____________________________________________________
> >
>
>
>
Received on Thursday, 2 December 2010 11:23:40 GMT

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