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Re: Re-thinking the Semantic Web and "Web 2.0"

From: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 13:01:13 +0100
Message-ID: <1f2ed5cd0601190401u10c9b567saf920b5bce95a739@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net>
Cc: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>

On 1/19/06, Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net> wrote:
>
> Harry Halpin wrote:
> > Unless you've been living underground, you've noticed the explosion of
> > "Web 2.0" companies and technologies being bandied about,
>
> True. But the word is meaningless.

Maybe. But that doesn't make it useless. The most promising take I've
seen is Ian Davis' "Web 2.0 is an attitude not a technology" [1].

In the context of the Semantic Web I think it's been useful in giving
a boost to the Web (and anything that's good for the Web is good for
the Semantic Web) and getting a lot of developers to take a few steps
back to reevaluate the tech that's already out there. For example, the
SW needs good UIs, who'd have thought DHTML (as Ajax) could have been
so sweet?

In the (*cough*)  outside world, I think ideas like service mashups
have brought into focus the need for good standards and maybe even led
a few people to notice that RDF is remix-in-a-box.  I'm optimistic
that the Web 2.0 attitude might also help undermine some of the
unnecessary mental barriers and false dichotomies like folksonomies
vs. ontologies (and for that matter XML vs. RDF).

[Did we have tags before Web 2.0? Sure, in the form of things like
HTML <meta> keywords. Were they useful then? Not really. Are they
useful now? Yes indeed.]

I dunno for sure, but as Harry suggests there seems a good chance of
widespread fracture & collapse, most of the Web 2.0 companies do seem
to have bubble-like fragility. But there's also a good chance of
useful lessons learned, which if the intuitions around this list are
right will bring the Semantic Web that much closer.

Cheers,
Danny.

[1] http://internetalchemy.org/2005/07/talis-web-20-and-all-that


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Received on Thursday, 19 January 2006 12:01:18 UTC

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