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

Re: overstock.com adds GoodRelations in RDFa to 900,000 item pages

From: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 21:04:55 +0200
Cc: Michael F Uschold <uschold@gmail.com>, public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web@w3.org
Message-Id: <2C0AA255-EA14-4C68-AC4A-175690627335@ebusiness-unibw.org>
To: Paul Houle <ontology2@gmail.com>

On 07.10.2010, at 17:14, Paul Houle wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 1:49 PM, Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org 
> > wrote:
>       From a commercial viewpoint,  imperfect data is an  
> opportunity.  If I didn't have other projects ahead of it in the  
> queue,  I'd seriously be thinking about building a shopping  
> aggregator that cleans up GoodRelations and other data,  reconciles  
> product identities,  categorizes products,  creates good product  
> descriptions,  and make something that improves on current affiliate  
> marketing and comparison shopping systems.
>       Note that the beauty of an ontology is in the eyes of a user.

Yes and no. While there is a degree of subjectivity when evaluating  
ontologies, there are also hard criteria, e.g.

- does it provide meaningful distinctions, i.e. such that are useful  
to preserve (in order to save reclassification effort by the data  
consumer) and reasonably cheap to populate (by the data owners).

- is it embedded in an economically feasible ecosystem with incentives  
for data owners to publish respective data. Keep in mind positive  
network externalities!

> One user might want to have a broad but vague ontology of  
> "products",  they are happy to say that a digital camera is  
> a :DigitalCamera.  Other people might want to just cover the  
> photography domain,  but do it in great detail -- describing both  
> the differences between digital cameras manufactured today but also  
> lenses,  and even covering,  in great detail,  vintage cameras that  
> you might find on eBay.
>       You can't say that one of these ontologies is better than the  
> other.  The best thing is to have all of these ontologies available  
> [populated with data!] and to pick and choose the the ones that fit  
> your needs.

If you ignore economics, you can have as many ontologies as you like,  
but ontologies are goods with strong positive network externalities  
(they gain in utility by the number of users and tools), so in  
practice, you may have many ontologies, but using a popular one out of  
a rather small set will often be the best choice.

But of course you are right that using any ontology, even if  
proprietary, is better than using no ontolohy, since entity matching  
on the schema level is usually less effort than on the instance level.


martin hepp
e-business & web science research group
universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen

e-mail:  hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org
phone:   +49-(0)89-6004-4217
fax:     +49-(0)89-6004-4620
www:     http://www.unibw.de/ebusiness/ (group)
          http://www.heppnetz.de/ (personal)
skype:   mfhepp
twitter: mfhepp

Check out GoodRelations for E-Commerce on the Web of Linked Data!
* Project Main Page: http://purl.org/goodrelations/
* Quickstart Guide for Developers: http://bit.ly/quickstart4gr
* Vocabulary Reference: http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1
* Developer's Wiki: http://www.ebusiness-unibw.org/wiki/GoodRelations
* Examples: http://bit.ly/cookbook4gr
* Presentations: http://bit.ly/grtalks
* Videos: http://bit.ly/grvideos
Received on Thursday, 7 October 2010 19:47:39 UTC

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