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Re: Vote for my Semantic Web presentation at SXSW

From: Alexander Johannesen <alexander.johannesen@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:20:31 +1000
Message-ID: <CAF89bCChNdHkq_ta=eZm7bFWnvyruXBzjxYyoPmiNo2KgFVRyA@mail.gmail.com>
Cc: public-lod@w3.org, "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>
On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 7:01 AM, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> wrote:
> I don't like to think prospectively in terms of "killer apps". I prefer
> "making killer users".

Exactly. I'm kinda tired of the relentless focus that our industry has
on the "application", as if this container of software that runs on
(a) server(s) somehow makes semantic sense to what we want to do (as
opposed to how we developers create them). I now get annoyed because
G+ isn't automatically there in Google Reader, because I'm doing the
same kinda thing, why isn't it there? :)

> I say this because the phrase "killer app" is a
> retrospective moniker. Its a reflection of how your solution affected (past
> tense) a given market and associated opportunities.

Well, it's a good moniker to have around for sales and marketing
people so they can dream up one in order to distract them from
interfering with good software development (I could rant for days how
these people think in terms of constrained boxes, or "apps"). If they
do manage to distract you, then they've got too much time on their
hands. :)

> As for the mobile space, absolutely!

I personally don't think the mobile space is any more or less
interesting in the SemWeb debacle at all, or gives any special weight
to it. It's all a mish-mash network of clients and servers that should
enable those killer users, that's all, whether they use a phone,
tablet, PC, or paper, or their fridge. I'm almost tempted to say that
SemWeb technologies enables a better mobile environment instead.

I can understand that things like Google Places on a tablet with 3G is
almost a killer app, it's at least damn sexy, but it's still a far cry
away from getting work done and earning money or even creating
something cool. Damn useful, but not essential, even if I'm out
driving for good coffee (which is very hard to find around here).

For the SemWeb to have its killer application, we need to look at the
old definition of "application" and go from there; to apply solutions
to problems not easily solved without. This baggage of "an app", as
you say, often served in a directory on a file system is the problem,
not "an application of systems thinking through software." In many
ways, SemWeb *is* service-oriented architecture, except not talked
about in that way by business consultants.

But you know what I think the "killer app" would be? Accurate data, or
more to the point, ways of discovering and deduct more accurate data
from the current imprecise and fuzzy data now available. The
representation is completely irrelevant to the problem SemWeb tries to
solve, and I'm often surprised as to how little AI and clever
analytics there seem to be in our domain - there's this strong trust
in data providers that drives me insane! - but then, maybe I'm reading
the wrong blogs or subscribed to the wrong mailing-lists ...  :)


Regards,

Alex
-- 
 Project Wrangler, SOA, Information Alchemist, UX, RESTafarian, Topic Maps
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Received on Thursday, 18 August 2011 02:21:08 UTC

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