As a hardcore Linked-Data/Semantic Web Enthusiast for some time now, say since pre-2007 (back then, I didn’t know what to call it but I understood that it was possible), I can’t help but feel sometimes like it’s never going to happen. Sometimes a non-silo Web seems like a idealistic fantasy. Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening. During the first half of 2007, the amount of excitement in the Sem-Web Category of my feed-reader was high. Since then, however, the excitement level seems to have diminished quite a bit. Am I right?
I want to offer a few condolences and some evidence that the Semantic Web is not dead. In fact, I believe it’s still going to “happen.”
- Tim Berners-Lee spoke at TED this year, apparently urging people to unlock their data, according to GigaOm (TED, please publish this video soon, OK?). TED has a quickly growing amount of influence in the mainstream from what I can tell. This is good outreach.
- Last but not least, remember that the emergence of “Linked Data” will probably seem to explode at a certain point, even though the buzz seems to have slowed down in the echo chamber. There’s a great little analogy I came across where data are compared to buttons being threaded together from one to the next, randomly and one connection at a time. How many random single connections need to be made before picking up one button will bring all the others along? The results are reassuring. Check it out over at the Data Evolution Blog, the newest feed in my Feed-Reader.