Business Models, Profitability, and Linked Data

There have been a few recent threads on the LOD and Semantic
Web mailing lists that boil down to the fundamental issues of
profitability, business models, and Linked Data.

Situation Analysis

Business Model Issue

The problem with "Data"-oriented business models is that you
ultimately have to deal with the issue of wholesale data copying
without attribution. That's the key issue; everything else is
a futile dance around this concern.

Profitability Issue

Profit is the consequence of a functional business model.
Ultimately, an entity, whether a person or an organization,
has to orchestrate the intersection of pain, value opportunity,
capital, value creation, market demographics, packaging, and
value distribution.

Linked Data

As demonstrated by the Web -- on a daily basis -- our modern
economy is driven by Linked Data in digital form. Nothing has
really changed beyond the fact that value and its distribution
network are increasingly digital.

Problem Resolution

Relations & Relationship Granularity

Linked Data has always been the engine of the Web economy
because every link on the Web denotes (i.e., names or "refers
to") a Relation. We know everything is Related, but we don't
always know the specifics of a given relationship.

What's changing today is the fidelity (or granularity) of these
Relations. Thus, rather than having a Web-based economy comprised
of coarse-grained relationships between entities of a specific
type, the Web is evolving to incorporate new entity types in
conjunction with new relationship types. Basically, the Web is
becoming more fine-grained.

Note --

 a Relation is a set of Relationships

 Relationships may be represented in different ways, e.g.,
Table Records (typically presented as grids or spreadsheets),
or Entity Relationship Statements (often presented as graph
pictorials, like network or entity relationship model diagrams).

Relation and Relationship Semantics

The semantics of Relations, combined with Linked Data, are the key
to addressing the challenge of "data copying without attribution".
Their contribution is to add the following to the mix:

 verifiable identity
 access controls

Today, it is possible to produce and publish Linked Data (privately
or publicly) while also constraining access via the use of data
access policies. These policies may also be in Linked Data form,
and they determine what privileges are granted to specific
organizations, people, or machines.


The technologies that make this possible, right now, are as follows:

 Linked Data HTTP URIs
 SPARQL endpoints
 entity relationship semantics based on the RDF model
 Authentication protocols such as WebID+TLS, OAuth, OpenID, and
others still taking shape (Web Keys, for example, which extends
basic HTTP Digest Authentication)


The Web is already driving our economy. It's how Google, Facebook,
Yahoo!, and the like pay their bills. All that's happening now,
in this industry inflection, is a move to a more distributed
framework where participation in the Web-based economy doesn't
require airport-sized data centers. You shouldn't have to be
burdened by the challenge of providing services to the the whole
world in exchange for $0.00 or nothing at all -- that's a game
for behemoths like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Linked Data (what the Web has always been about!) is an economic
engine for value producers of all shapes, sizes, and forms.


1. -- Function (remember, 
when not void, they return 0 or 1 i.e., True or False)
2. -- Relation (a Relation 
is really a Function)
3. -- you have literals or 
references (e.g., HTTP URIs)
4. -- Links (which denote 
5. -- 
original Web design illustration (note: the "describes" 
6. -- Data & Relations thread on Ontolog list .

Received on Friday, 7 June 2013 16:52:38 UTC