W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > February 2011

Does Linked Data need a Mission Statement?

From: Stephen Young <steve@electricmint.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 11:51:18 +1100
Message-ID: <AANLkTikqOu8VDovDVhDtKXsNgOEhhR5-CVWMYexOvsTR@mail.gmail.com>
To: semantic-web@w3.org
As the http://wik.me project gathers more interest, I'm getting some
valuable feedback and engaging in some interesting discussions.  I thought
this excerpt re. Linked Data, might be of particular interest to this list:

The context for it is this: We've used many of the triples generated by the
DBPedia initiative to build the semantic graph that backs the wik.me site.
Despite the fact that the graph largely "rewires" the DBPedia data it's been
suggested that we should link back to the relevant DBPedia resource form
every page.  I've argued that such linking doesn't serve the wider interest
and I'd be keen to hear the opinions of a wider audience.


> That's not the point. Accuracy and other quality factors re. Data are
inherently subjective.

So... if I create "data" that says Obama is a Republican, from some
"subjective" position this has value?  And even if you can make a case for
such a position, how much does this "data" subtract from Linked Data's
usefulness for everyone else?

> You've used DBpedia data, you've added value to it, so please keep the
URIs in scope of User
> Agents. at the very least re. proper attribution.

Sure.  We'll modify the FAQ - but I'm not accepting the assertion that blind
data linking is to everyone's benefit.  Someone will have to make that case.
 I've not seen it - from TBL or anyone else.

> I don't know what you mean by first person reference to DBpedia team. I
suspect you mean the folks that deal
> with the Wikipedia extraction? DBpedia is much more than extraction from

Of course. <http://wiki.dbpedia.org/Team> ;-) I wonder if you can see the
inconsistency in your views that your statement here demonstrates - you're
effectively saying "accuracy in your English statements is important but it
doesn't matter what you put in your triples".

I don't mean to be confrontational here and I thank you for helping me
clarify my position on Linked Data.  Facts and data are quite different from
web pages in that veracity is more important than freedom of speech.  The
"throw everything in" ethos of Linked Data is a problem, and the initiative
is likely to flail around like a beached whale until some kind of semantic
Google comes along to sort through the dross.

As people who care about making knowledge and data universally accessible we
have to ask ourselves whether a corporate Semantic Google is what we want -
particularly since it's likely to be some kind of large devolved Upper
Ontology that becomes a hub for everyone's data.


I think "Linked Data" could benefit from its own SIG - and certainly a
Mission Statement.  Something that says more than just "let's link
everything up".

If anyone wants to discuss this issue in more detail than is appropriate
here, I've also posted this excerpt to


Stephen Young
CEO @ factnexus.com
Architect @ wik.me
Founding member @ knowledgerights.org
Received on Monday, 28 February 2011 09:56:46 UTC

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