Re: Use of Content Management Systems, ranking and usage in Semantic Web

Dear Paola,

Getting back to the root question of CMSs, I am having a hard time figuring out why so little semantic web functionality is built into the current most popular CMSs being used.

The functionality of CMSs resembles to a large extent what intended users (web designers and users) expect of them in order to build sites, and semantic web issues apparently are not yet high on their agenda.

As a mathematician and global sustainable development activist I had a hard time when I tried to come up with a practical approach based on existing infrastructure and ICT technology to see how the UN ICT Task Force tried to envision global empowerment of stakeholders in sustainable development through the use of ICT and the internet in particular.

I came up with an obvious shortlist, the internet, open source software and toolkits, and open (internet) access digital repositories of knowledge and information.

Nothing new there or exciting, but what I did not see was a unifying vision from the UN on how to make this ICT infrastructure achieve the noble objectives of the UN ICT Task Force or the three chapters in Agenda 21 dealing with information collection, generation and data gathering for policy making and implementation of sustainable development.

Of the three enabling concepts, open source software, open access to digital repositories and the semantic web, the latter is the least developed and deployed, for reasons of the complexity of creating semantic content to such a wide range of available data and information out on the web.

As a mathematician, I am, I must admit, naturally suspect of software engineers and IT specialists who sometimes are too overly optimistic about software engineering and information technology and what these can achieve.

Archetypes and templates maybe personas and schemas to software engineers but they may represent different things to other disciplines including mathematics.

Bu that is another story and not within the scope of this list.

The point I am trying to make and which got lost in the previous emails is that I do not see yet how the semantic web can now or at any point in the near future meet the expectations of those who will want to use it, even for reasons maybe other than envisioned by the original creators unless we factor in user demands, expectations, tastes and irrationality and market forces.

Currently the semantic web is of importance with regard to issues related to (open) access to digital repositories and access to online information, and a relatively small community of professionals is working on making the semantic web a reality.

The transition from the current internet to a web with large domains of data and information with semantical content added will be subject to what users expect and demand in terms of functionality and tastes in terms of personalizing it and the way they choose to interact with other humans over the net.

Twenty years ago ISDN and other new ICT technologies were heralded as having a big future and would capture large market shares. Alas consumers and corporate users decided otherwise.

The same thing happened with Open Systems Interconnection and EDI.

Ironically all three techologies were directly linked to the the use of a global supernetwork for communications that came into being when the commercial Internet was created and subsequently made these technologies rapidly obsolete.

We must be ruthlessly realistic about the expectations for the use of the semantic web, it is in my (debatable) opinion not realistic to think that we will be able to realize the full potential of semantic web technology, and even less the potential the UN envisioned for the internet as the infrastructure for utilizing ICT to empower stakeholders in sustainable development worldwide.

One of the most powerful technologies on the internet is social networking, which is user and personalization driven, and it would be nice if it could be used to promote the use of semantic web technologies in the field of information content creation, extraction and sharing here.

The other driving force on the net is the creation of online communities, the power of which was recently shown in the political campaign of Barack Obama.

I personally think that semantic web technology in combination with open source software and open access to digital repositories can be very useful for social networking and online communities, but here the point I made that one size does not fit all applies.

With regard to Dublin Core, below I copied part of the text from its web site

About the Initiative
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is an organization
dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption of interoperable
metadata standards and developing specialized metadata vocabularies for
describing resources that enable more intelligent information discovery
Mission and Scope

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative provides simple standards to facilitate the finding, sharing and management of information.

DCMI does this by:
Developing and maintaining international standards for describing resourcesSupporting a worldwide community of users and developersPromoting widespread use of Dublin Core solutions
The major characteristics of DCMI as an organization are (the three °IĘs):

Independent: DCMI is not controlled by specific commercial or other interests and is not biased towards specific domains 
nor does it mandate specific technical solutionsInternational: DCMI encourages participation from organizations anywhere in the world, respecting linguistic and cultural 
differencesInfluenceable: DCMI is an open organization aiming at building consensus among the participating organizations; there are 
no prerequisites for participationVery promising indeed and a nice body of work produced so far

Yet when you look at how the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is organized and operates only a small fraction of the actors and stakeholder groups you would expect to be already participating, in fact is.

This is a reflection on how the semantic web deployment is progressing.

Unless more large stakeholder groups like the global civil society, governments and the corporate sector are engaged we may end up in a situation where using the VHS versus Betamax videorecorder technology analogy, lesser developed technologies different from the semantic web win out in the quest to creating and extracting semantic content from information online on the internet and digital repositories.

Search engine companies and other software and internet services companies will always put their own commercial interests first and only embrace new standards if they fit their corporate and commercial objectives.

The idea I floated to Google, well I have little hope that something good will come out of it, unless they actually read the paragraph about using semantic web technology.

Nothing tried, nothing gained!

Milton Ponson

--- On Sat, 11/15/08, <> wrote:
Hi Milton

I have been thinking of how what you say below relates to your first
message about cms semantic functions, and I think the post takes a
different tack altogether (I am just trying to be coherent in my own

 "one size fits all" approach will not work.

not sure what are you refererring to here...

> If we just stick to the general fields of science and technology we will
> encounter dozens of clusters of interrelated disciplines with sometimes
> common but more often slightly different fields of formal and informal
> concepts, definitions, theories, terminology and bodies of work derived
> these.

yes, I am observing that, and find the knowledge puzzle irresistible


> In particular the approach used in the OpenEHR (, based on
> archetypes and templates is the closest thing we have seen to a knowledge
> modeling paradigm in which a restricted language domain is used.

arent archetypes 'personas?'  and arent templates 'schemas?

I havent looked into this yet, but we must make sure that a novel
approach is not confused with novel names /applications for existing

> If we just look at two required ingredients for the success of semantic
> technologies, browser and search engine capabilities for handling semantic
> content, we will see that archetypes and templates are actually a very
> hands-on approach to dealing with information extraction and formatting.

possibly, depending on the requirement I guess
> Archetypes and templates are a clever way of getting around a lot of the
> problems and yes you may not be far off at all that "reasoning
parsers" for
> browsers and search engines may just be a way to get around of the
> As web users we "personalize" our web pages in domains like
> Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, on professional web sites etc.
> Why not personalize our browsers and the search engines we use by having
> them use "reasoning parsers" to extract the information we need?
> Now here comes the mind blowing part!!! We can set up web pages by tagging
> them in some way to be processed for information extraction and semantic
> content generation in such a way that digital repositories on the web will
> actually identify these sites as part of a "vernacular" form
belonging to a
> particular category using ontologies out of a particular "language
> (the Yahoo Category versus the Google Brute Force approach to indexing
> information).

yes.......that's what metadata was designed to do, since the dublin
core days - I think

 In such a context the question if RDF can be useful in outputting triples
> that make sense can be rephrased to how we output triples that make sense
> predefined vernaculars or language domains (language here not being the
> linguistic, but the field of scientific discipline /technology type).

okay, I think I understand, kind of 'macros'
> We submitted an idea Project 10 to the 100 at Google

good luck with it

> They must be on to something!
> Milton Ponson
> GSM: +297 747 8280
> Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation

Received on Saturday, 15 November 2008 04:42:50 UTC