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Semantic Web has partially arrived

Many Internet experts believe the Semantic Web, also known as Web 3.0, is still a decade off. And some technology professionals, such as Phil Simon, believe, "We’ll have to go through Web 2.0 to get to Web 3.0 first." I don't think that's necessarily the case. I think parts of the Semantic Web are already here.

If you're unfamiliar with the Semantic Web, let me give you a brief definition before I go any further. The technology will basically put content into context. So it's not about links between Web pages. Rather, it describes the relationships between things (A falls under the category of B) and the properties of things (like size, weight, price, etc.).

I believe the quest for content and information are fueling the Semantic Web. That's why we're seeing more and more companies using meta tags to enhance their information repositories. But meta tagging falls short of achieving the Semantic Web objective because it's not domain specific.

So what's missing still is a technology known as the "fielded wiki." Fielded wikis allow domain-specific information to be added to the system. Field + Data = Semantic Smart. The key to effective fielded wikis is adding information that can be rapidly found and easily understood by other users in the proper context.

Because language has so much ambiguity, it will take time before content is fully semantically enabled and search engines know exactly what someone is looking for. For example, if you query mercury are you referring to the element? The Greek god? The planet? The car?

Semantic Web technology will be another important piece of the E2.0 pie, letting users dynamically discover and consume information, which becomes critically important for productivity.

2 comments:

Phil Simon said...

Thanks for the plug.

My point with my post was that we need to free IT resources from largely manual maintenance and lesser value tasks. Once we do that, then we'll have more funds and human bandwidth to take greater steps increase the adoption of Web 3.0.

Phil Green said...

Phil, (you are welcome for the plug) and I could not agree more. The more we free up high-price and scarce resources the better. Semantic processing and the like hold the potential to revolutionize the way we work and play. And while some of the Semantic Web is already here, as they say on Firesign Theatre, “The future's not here yet man.”

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