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Re: status and problems on sematicweb.org

From: Markus Krötzsch <markus.kroetzsch@cs.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:16:53 +0000
Message-ID: <4F0FF685.1020004@cs.ox.ac.uk>
To: Dieter Fensel <dieter.fensel@sti2.at>
CC: Yury Katkov <katkov.juriy@gmail.com>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Semantic MediaWiki users <semediawiki-user@lists.sourceforge.net>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>
Dear Dieter,

thanks a lot for your offer. This is clearly something where STI 
International would be an ideal partner to join forces with. I will come 
back to you with more concrete proposals. But at first I want to make 
sure that we have taken all technical measures to minimize the remaining 
manual effort.



On 12/01/12 23:11, Dieter Fensel wrote:
> Dear Markus and Yury,
> I think you make a very important point. Actually STI International
> could provide
> (modest) financial and personal support on helping on the issue. If this
> is viewed
> as a good proposal we could follow up on this.
> Many greetings,
> Dieter
> At 06:43 PM 1/12/2012, Markus Krötzsch wrote:
>> Hi Yuri,
>> let us take this to one mailing list semantic-web@w3.org, as this is
>> the list that is most involved (please drop the others when you reply).
>> As the technical maintainer of the site, I largely agree with your
>> assessment. In spite of the very high visibility of the site (and
>> perceived authority), the active editing community is not big. This is
>> a problem especially given the significant and continued spam attacks
>> that the site is under due to its high visibility (I just recently
>> changed the captcha system and rolled back thousands of edits, yet it
>> seems they are already breaking through again, though in smaller
>> numbers).
>> I do not want to blame anybody for the state of affairs: most of us do
>> not have the time to contribute significant content to such sites.
>> However, given the extraordinary visibility of the site, we should all
>> perceive this as a major problem (to the extent that we attach our
>> work to the label "semantic web" in any way).
>> So what can be done?
>> (1) Freeze the wiki. A weaker version of this is: allow users only to
>> edit after they were manually added to a group of trusted users (all
>> humans welcome). This would require somebody to manage these
>> permissions but would allow existing projects/communities to continue
>> to use the site.
>> (2) Re-enforce spam protection on the wiki. Maybe this could be done,
>> but the site is targeted pretty heavily. Standard captchas like
>> ReCaptcha are thus getting broken (spammers do have an effective
>> infrastructure for this), but maybe non-standard captchas could work
>> better. This is a task for the technical maintainers (i.e., me and the
>> folks at AIFB Karlsruhe where the site is hosted).
>> (3) Clean the wiki. Whether frozen or not, there is a lot of spam
>> already. Something needs to be done to get rid of it. This requires
>> (easy but tedious) manual effort. Some stakeholders need to be found
>> to provide basic workforce (e.g., by hiring a student to help with
>> spam deletion).
>> (4) Restore the wiki. Update the main pages (about technologies and
>> active projects) to reflect a current and/or timeless state that we
>> would like new readers to see. This again needs somebody to push it,
>> and for writing pages about topics like SPARQL one would need some
>> expertise. This is a challenge for the community.
>> I am willing to invest /some/ time here to help with the above, but
>> (3) and (4) requires support from more people. On the other hand,
>> there are probably hardly more than 20 or 30 *essential* content pages
>> that we are talking about here, plus many pages about projects and
>> people that one should ask the stakeholders to review. So one might be
>> able to make this into a shining entry point to the semantic web in a
>> week of work ... together with (1) and (2) above, the invested work
>> would remain valuable for a long time.
>> Cheers
>> Markus
>> On 12/01/12 10:43, Yury Katkov wrote:
>>> Hi everyone!
>>> What is the current status of the semanticweb.org
>>> <http://semanticweb.org> website? It used to be the main wiki about the
>>> semantic web, it has a lot of cool and useful information about
>>> everything. But now it seems abandoned. I mean, there are about 30 real
>>> writers who update the information about their projects an write
>>> articles, but they do something like 30% of changes. The other 70% is
>>> spam!
>>> Are there guys who support the website?
>>> Who manages the community, are there any plans of creating projects and
>>> articles about SW? Is there community at all?
>>> In my opinion if this great website suppose to be alive the first goal
>>> is to find volunteers who'll help administrator to combat spam (with
>>> bots, extensions and editing policies) and support the new activities
>>> and projets on the wiki. (I'm ready to be one of them).
>>> If this wiki lived only in the past when it was a big hype around
>>> Semantic Web topics and now without a big funding nobody wants to use it
>>> - wouldn't it better to be frozen?
>>> I appreciate and admire people who started up the wiki. Please, don't
>>> let it be the rotting memorial to the past of the Semantic Web.
>>> -----
>>> Sincerely yours,
>>> Yury Katkov, WikiVote llc

Dr. Markus Kroetzsch
Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford
Room 306, Parks Road, OX1 3QD Oxford, United Kingdom
+44 (0)1865 283529               http://korrekt.org/
Received on Friday, 13 January 2012 09:17:35 UTC

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