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Re: [External] How to fund a website for getting started with RDF applications?

From: Young,Jeff (OR) <jyoung@oclc.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2019 23:07:20 +0000
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <DM5PR06MB2636C2E2FF8121D7117CA5D4AD440@DM5PR06MB2636.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
The “no animation” on ads seem like a poison pill. I don’t mind ads on YouTube channels, for example. Waiting 5 seconds to hit skip is usually a price I’m happy to pay.

Get Outlook for iOS<https://aka.ms/o0ukef>

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2019 6:26 PM
To: semantic-web
Subject: [External] How to fund a website for getting started with RDF applications?

How should a central website for getting started with RDF-related
applications be funded and administered?

Many major development technologies have a central website that gives
newcomers everything they need to get started with that technology:
tutorials, downloads, etc. RDF does not. Tools and learning resources
are scattered, and the landscape is littered with abandonware.
Newcomers have a difficult time figuring out what to use and how to
start. This problem was discussed both at the W3C Graph Data workshop
in Berlin last week, and at the US Semantic Technology Symposium this
week at Duke University. See slides 68-74:

RDF needs a central website for newcomers. But how should it be funded
and administered? My thoughts so far:

- Community engagement is essential, but a wiki-like model that is
entirely community driven would not work. Multiple attempts along
those lines have already been made, and they have become abandonware
after their main contributors moved on to other activities.

- Curation is essential. The site should not simply hold a long list
of potential tools. It needs to guide users more selectively through
the jungle, by recommending specific sets of tools that are most likely
to make the user successful. Ideally the site should also point out
alternative tools.

- Tool selection is a judgement call, and different people will not
all make the same choices for a given use case. Nonetheless, such
judgement calls are extremely helpful to newcomers. Therefore, we need
to figure out the right community-driven mechanisms for informing or
making these judgement calls. (As an example, judgement calls like this
are made routinely for every release of Red Hat or Ubuntu when those
organizations decide which packages to include. What process do they

- Curation adds crucial value, but it also costs real money (or time).
Web hosting costs are trivial in comparison. How should the site be
funded? As a non-profit, from contributions? Vendors and big RDF
users might be convinced to donate. What should they get in return?
Exposure? Some advertising?

- If ads are included, they must be relevant, unobtrusive and have no
animation or sound.

- Diversity of use cases. Because of the wide variety of RDF use
cases, it would be best to provide different tracks for different kinds
of use cases, such as:

- Content organization by metadata (for libraries, etc.)

- Data integration (multiple data sources & data models)

- OWL reasoning (e.g., with OBO Foundry ontologies)

- How to balance free and open source with commercial interests? The
main focus should be on free and open source software: a newcomer should
be quickly successful using only free and open source software. But
pointers to commercial tools and services should be considered also,
both to help users find them, and to have vendor support of the site.
However, the commercial aspect must be managed and balanced properly, to
prevent the site from smelling like yet another marketing ploy.

I am interested to hear other thoughts or ideas. Also, please let me
know (privately or publicly) if you are keen on helping to figure this
out and get this going.

David Booth
Received on Friday, 15 March 2019 23:07:50 UTC

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