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news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Semantic web / wiki, and computer culture

posted: Mar 17, 2006 2:24:13 PM

I recently realized that the semantic web is actually pretty successful (e.g., I heard that something like 10x more money is flowing into semantic web companies than is flowing into so-called web 2.0 companies).

I've also become more accutely aware of how popular tech-focused blogs tend to be heavily biased towards the "computer company" model of success, e.g., something is just not successful if it doesn't have a buzz word that's easy to market, and/or a hyped coding technique or tool that programmers can be convinced they need to get on their resumés.

Anyway, I mostly wanted to note this example of the Semantic MediaWiki. If you are at all familiar with wikis, be sure to go into edit mode and see how the semantic wiki markup translates to the displayed information and links on the page.

This seems like an excellent example of a few things:

  1. semantic webs can be easy to build
  2. the RDF model can be easy to use
  3. tags, taxonomies and ontologies are happy together
  4. the data entry technique that helped make tags popular is also useful for marking up hierarchies and relational structures

Along the lines of my last point, I wonder whether it'd be fun to think about creating mashups / search engines* based on parsing the wiki markup directly, rather than based on parsing the RDF/XML. . .

* search engines are the orignal mashup apps, right?

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