The Semantic Web

December 2nd, 2006

My father-in-law just sent me a great article from the NY Times about the semantic web, a.k.a. web 3.0. It discussed the future of information organization, and how many smart people are working to make it more user-friendly, including of course Google. The inherent problem is that information is most often stored and organized in a completely different manner than it is retrieved, or more likely attempted to be retrieved.

A couple of thoughts:

  • Will humans, in their incredible ability to adapt, adjust to be more compatible with information, or will we be able to develop sytems to serve "how we ended up"?
  • I'm surprised the article didn't mention television channels. In our never ending quest to "search", we often find ourselves flipping through the channels, but finding nothing "on". Its an interesting part of the human psychology that we often don't know what we're looking for, but want to find something that interests us. That's why I'm such a huge fan of recommendation engines, like the one at Netflix. Along those lines, YouTube, a recent purchase by Google, has umpteen times more "channels" but not many helpful ways to surf, or get recommendations, yet.
  • In my humble opinion, it will be IPTV that is the "killer app" that brings us closer to a semantic web of information.

Speaking of IPTV, that reminds me of a book my father-in-law also bought for me called "The Broadband Explosion". That book inspired Telecom Rebirth. Good stuff.

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