W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > April 2010

Re: FaceBook taking over the web, and semantic web

From: Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 20:28:53 +0000
Message-ID: <v2k4a4804721004231328l695ee373i654080a83b10754e@mail.gmail.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Cc: ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program <metadataportals@yahoo.com>, semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Some of the concerns aired below seem to be a governance issue, (that FB
wants to put people at the center of the web is good, but they actuallly
they want to put FB at the center of the web, is so true)

When FB will become owned by its users (say each account a share, or so,
some dividends and a vote on AGM matters)
then I will buy into the 'people at the center of the web' model

If you can get the web of data/sw into FB (and other SN) , and when each
account holder is  an owners administrators and decision maker of said SN  ,
I think we may be getting somewhere?


On Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org> wrote:

> (cc: list trimmed; one list is usually enough, two is plenty... three means
> people start complaining)
> On Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 4:12 PM, ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program <
> metadataportals@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Facebook plans to take over the web, by creating open graph based semantic
>> content.
>> See:
>> http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/techtonicshifts/archive/2010/04/22/facebook-f8-internet-open-social-graph-semantic-web-twitter.aspx
>> FaceBook has come under fire for selling information about users to
>> marketing companies.
>> Is this a serious threat to the open structure of the Internet and the
>> linked data paradigm as envisioned by the W3C?
> There are plenty of things that people worry about re Facebook. I think
> putting structured metadata in public Web pages needn't be one of those
> things. We might wish the RDFa markup was tidier in syntax or semantics,
> etc., but I don't think putting the director's name/ID into a
> movie-describing page, or cuisine into a restaurant-describing page is a
> cause for concern.
> My main worry about Facebook is one shared with many of the other huge
> profile-hosting and content-hosting sites: people are living their online
> lives inside someone else's dns domain name. If Facebook provides were
> http://johnsmith.example.name/ instead of http://facebook.com/johnsmith/ie. spread around and portable, I'd be much happier. So this new attempt to
> reach out into the non-facebook.com Web is interesting. It strikes me as
> much healthier if the main Web presence for a restaurant is at a Web site
> owned/controlled by the restaurant, rather than on an internet domain owned
> by Facebook (or Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Twitter, whoever...). If
> their new-found ability to make normal Web pages function like Facebook Fan
> pages, then I think the trend over all is healthy. After all you can always
> chop out the Facebook-specific markup in a few years, if you decide you
> don't like them. Whereas if you go around putting
> http://facebook.com/yourname or http://twitter.com/yourname as your main
> URL, and encouraging everyone to link to it, then you are making it hard to
> ever leave those sites.
> Now when they say they're putting 'people at the heart of the Web', we know
> that's a bit of spin and the goal is to put Facebook-mediated-people at the
> heart of the Web. No suprise or shock there. But despite that, much of the
> message in this week's F8 keynote is singing the Semantic Web song - about
> connecting and mapping out a giant global graph linking all of us to the
> things we make and do, from blogs and books to movies and restaurants. So -
> well of course they want to control a big chunk of the Web, they're a big
> tech company; to be upset of suprised at this is like being dissapointed
> that foxes want to eat your chickens. Blame capitalism or something! Now
> just because these mega-companies are naturally self-interested, it doesn't
> mean everything they do is dumb, bad or dangerous. I think in this case, the
> markup is at least fairly well separated. The meta tags are pretty neutral
> and express something of what the page is about, while the LIKES iframe is
> the bit that ties you into the Facebook world. Any company the size of
> Facebook (or Google, or ...) is too big to think of as if it were a single
> sentient entity. There are lots of different forces and trends in these
> companies, and often plenty of people there who want to do the right thing
> for the Web.
> If their 'open graph' work lets more happen on user-owned dns domains
> rather than in facebook.com, that strikes me as good. If they're doing
> this by putting explicit metadata in pages using an RDFish object/property
> model, ... that's all for the good too. And we can be sure they have enough
> competitors out there that people will soon enough realise that there's only
> really one 'open graph' we can all rely on long-term, and that's the Web
> itself.
> Those who are really worried would be better placed building fabulous
> opensource tools that exploit all this rich linked data we've gotten
> published in RDF. I think that's the real advantage folk at Facebook have
> over the rest of us. We can't easily slurp in and process data on such a
> scale. Maybe there is scope for some collaborative projects in that
> direction, at least using the public parts of the 'giant global graph'...
> cheers,
> Dan

Paola Di Maio
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Albert Einstein
Received on Friday, 23 April 2010 20:29:28 UTC

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