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

From: Martynas Jusevičius <martynas@atomgraph.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2019 13:07:45 +0100
Message-ID: <CAE35VmyEfh7Ouabn1vRnUA7DKGhcOv1T41-LKQqnEw8TTVVRNA@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>
There are some valid points, especially re. centralized and
theme-based learning materials, but I can't shake the feeling that the
PG community (i.e. mostly vendors) is controlling this narrative.
Marketing is what they're good at.

The unintended (?) consequence of this effort might be reinforcing the
notion that RDF is "hard", complicated and somehow inadequate [1]. How
does this help outreach? It sure does for PGs, but not RDF.
Why not make the communication more positive? That RDF is good at what
it does, and the effort is about showing and enabling this value for a
broader developer audience.

Also curious how W3C is jumping into PG standardization despite main
PG DB vendors not being W3C members [2]. Is that how the process is
supposed to work?

If RDF-bashing is continued, they will soon control more than the 17%
market share you show in your slides. Which might be the point.

[1] http://book.validatingrdf.com/bookHtml005.html
[2] https://www.w3.org/Consortium/Member/List

On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 11:27 PM David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
> 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:
> https://tinyurl.com/EasierDuke
> 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
> use?)
>   - 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.
> Thanks!
> David Booth
Received on Saturday, 16 March 2019 12:08:21 UTC

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