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Re: Squaring the HTTP-range-14 circle

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 15:39:52 +0200
Cc: Ian Davis <lists@iandavis.com>, Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@gmail.com>
Message-Id: <99E7A241-14BD-499E-98D6-546D21CF6F83@bblfish.net>
To: "public-lod@w3.org community" <public-lod@w3.org>

On 17 Jun 2011, at 15:04, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:

> AND when they click "like" on a facebook comment they are
> saying they like the comment not the thing it is commenting on.

Indeed I have had a few people on Facebook comment that they were very unhappy not being able to distinguish between what the object of a "like" is. Such as when one "likes" a page about the death of a friend, or about some child tortured in some distant county.

Of course FB was right to start with such a simple relation. Just as the web started with the <a href="">..</a> link. One starts with the simplest relations that make no clear distinction between what is liked and then following the pressure from the community, and business opportunities, one adds distinctions in the order of which is the most profitable to add next. I am sure Facebook is very greatful to academia for having shown that it will find it no trouble to move to liking objects and  being able to distinguish those from web pages. But their job is to build tools that generate huge markets in order to build profit, so they will only increase the subtlety of their distinctions as their business cases require them.

We can build ontologies that follow a similar path, starting from ontologies that don't require someone to distinguish between pages and things named by them. It will be interesting to work out how far one can go with that and at what point it breaks down conceptually. So with the "like" button, it does not allow one to distinguish the liking of an article or the death of a friend. But the procedural value of "like" - easy notification system - was big enough to build out a huge market - within the conceptual limitations of the relation.

In any case it does not seem that this has anything to do with architectural limitations of the Web, since it is easy I think even in RDF to do both.


Social Web Architect
Received on Friday, 17 June 2011 13:40:32 UTC

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