W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > December 2010

Upcoming Articles on SW

From: Brandon Schwartz <brandon@boomajoom.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 14:12:35 -0800
Message-ID: <AANLkTi==H8-Zo-Q4iBiQWL_UNRwnCMc8qN-jm-Mdp1nM@mail.gmail.com>
To: semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>

I'm in the process of writing a series of articles for my site on the
semantic web.  The goal of the articles is to raise awareness of the
importance that the semantic web will play in businesses and internet
advertising.  So far I have it broken down into 5 articles:

1. Interoperability as a Business Model
2. SEO
3. Linked Data in E-Stores
4. Understanding Trust
5. Knowledge for the Future Marketing Professional

I'd really be honored if someone took the time to provide input - either on
the structure of the series or in the individual articles.  I'll be sure to
give credit when things go public.  Below is the first article,
Interoperability as a Business Model.  If I've made any mistakes, overlooked
any tools that you feel are important, or you feel driven to make any kind
of emotional outburst, I'm open to it.  I'm still very new to this stuff, so
I expect there to be some issues with the article.

I want to start with your business model, since without it you won't get
very far.  Marketing, contrary to being just liquor and guessing, is about
making the truth interesting.  That presupposes a truth to advertise.

No matter what business you're in, you're going to have a stack of
information you need to process.  Even individuals are likely to be
overwhelmed keeping up with relevant online data.  Businesses, on the other
hand, can spend millions of dollars trying to come to a consensus on
information within a single program; the resources required to get <a href="
programs</a> to communicate with each other is simply staggering.
If you were to honestly ask yourself how easily you could transfer your
business data to every computer operating system or every business
application software available, I doubt you'd be happy with the answer.  At
it's heart, interoperability is the ability of your information to be moved
between programs with ease.

Some might be wondering what the point of such a transfer would be.  For
folks who have spent 15 years working with Microsoft Access as their primary
database management software and who expect to be doing it another 20, being
able to communicate with other systems won't seem as important.
Unfortunately, sticking with the tried and true might not be a viable
strategy over the long term.

Consider this: your company sticks with the tried and true methods of
database management.  You spend money buying old fashioned proprietary
software, hours setting up simple commands, and a huge amount of time
piecing together simple reports.  Informing your manager about the day to
day operations of your job involve running extensive queries and spending
hours piecing the information into a spreadsheet.  This was, at some point,
an effective way of doing business.  However, your competitor stores
information in a format that allows it to be transferred to free,
open-source systems in the blink of an eye.  When their database becomes
ineffective, they switch to a better program with little downtime.  When
informing their bosses about projects, they can examine data across the
entire enterprise quickly.

Interoperability should be both a business strategy and a philosophy.  It's
more than just cutting reporting time, it's about having access to customer
data before other people do and seeing relationships in that data that
aren't immediately apparent.  It saves you time, money, and a big headache.
Granted, it extends beyond marketing and many marketers will feel that this
is too technical for them to be concerned with.

But consider these two facts:

1. The more you know about your customer, the better position you'll be in
to sell a product that interests them.  If you know what they like to do,
where they like to go, and who they like to spend time with, placing
targeted advertisements becomes easy.

2. The flow of information about the product is the marketer's domain.
Whether its referrals, advertisements, or conversations on the street, the
marketing professional is always looking to direct that information in a way
that leads to sales.

Software interoperability is key for both of these.  First, being able to
quickly access data in your CRM and incorporate it with survey responses,
inventory counts, and feedback from your marketing campaigns will allow you
to target your customers better.  Second, if (as this series will show is
the case) the internet is becoming more semantic, it will unleash a wave of
information sharing that's simply never been seen before.  Taking advantage
of that, internally and externally, will naturally lead to more sales.  But
it will also free up time for you to focus on the parts of your job that are
more rewarding than filling in spreadsheet cells.

So how do you do it?

When writing about the semantic web, sometimes it's a little too easy to
make the whole thing sound like a magic pill that solves all your business
problems.  Let me be clear: it's not, but it does make certain things
easier.  Here are some tools to help you take advantage of interoperability.
<li>SAP.  This software is absolutely fantastic when it comes to
interoperability and searchability.  SAP has extensive features for
inventory management, finance, human resources, and more.  The fact that the
software can be used in so many departments makes computer communication
easy.  <a href="
demonstrates how SAP is working to provide a semantic framework
for data.  Their approach is to develop standards within the bounds of what
people need, and not from a removed academic standpoint.  SAP's approach
will take what is useful for businesses from academia and grow these
standards in a commercial environment.  <a href="
really takes this to the next level.  <a href="
allows users to interact with any SAP program without hassle.</a>
The ability to access your enterprise software from a central point and get
different programs to communicate with each other easily is key to operating
your business effectively and serving your customer efficiently.

<li>Cloud computing.  Cloud computing is simply the practice of doing work
online.  Software companies provide the programs, data, and resources online
rather than on your hardrive.  Because of the expansion of cloud software,
companies have begun making their software interoperable.  Google can save
documents in RTF, PDF, XLS, and more, meaning you can use the documents in
other programs you might have.  Zoho has plugins that interact with Google
and Microsoft.  Cloud companies often provide ways for developers to
contribute and have been been open to efforts to interact with competitors'
software.  Not to mention <em>hardware</em> compatibility.  Cloud computing
lets you go to any computer, even if it's your cell phone, and access your

<li>Open source vs. controlled programming languages.  Again, a bit techy,
but it's something you need to know.  Proprietary website and database
management systems cost money, require corporate technical support, and are
painful to upgrade.  They're also written in programming languages that are
exclusive to that company, which means that developing applications to
disect data can be difficult.  Open source software is different.  You can
build an entire website and run a database for free while a support
community develops new applications that can be put to use almost
immediately.  Many open source programs, such as Mediawiki (the software
that powers Wikipedia) allow you to export and import to XML, a
machine-readable format that marketing folks are likely to have experience
with in SEO work (sitemaps) and social media marketing (RSS feeds).  As more
content management systems begin supporting XML, migrating data between
sites becomes easy.  Have no control over using a controlled language?  <a
<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/interop/">not.</a<http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/interop/%22%3Enot.%3C/a>>
Using open source but still want to pay?  <a href="

Interoperability is essential, but it's more than just about software and
information; it's about departmental interoperability and human connections.

Brandon | http://www.boomajoom.com
Visit my affiliate store: http://astore.amazon.com/boomajoom-20
Twitter <http://twitter.com/boomajoom>  |
|  Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Boomajoom/116385835083090>
Received on Thursday, 16 December 2010 22:13:05 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 1 March 2016 07:42:24 UTC