2010 Semantic Web Summit

Understanding + Classification = Monetization From the Semantic Web, Says OpenAmplify

Semantic technology web services provider OpenAmplify unveiled the next
solution in its portfolio at this week’s Semantic Web Summit. It’s adding
onto its OpenAmplify platform, which surfaces the meaning of content (its
topics, sentiment, expressed intentions and so forth), with a customized
classification solution dubbed Ampliverse.

The company says that with the new service, it’s delivering the one-two
punch businesses need to monetize content:

1) Understanding and

2) Classification that lets businesses create taxonomies that are specific to
their own domains.

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The Semantic Web Delivers For Best Buy. So Why Not For Your Business, Too?

Best Buy may be considered by many as a poster child for why businesses should use Semantic Web technologies. An early adopter of the GoodRelations vocabulary (just recommended for product and price information usage in web pages by Google), the retailer has been at the forefront of the Semantic Web wave – but it’s only just begun.

Semantic Web technologies, says Jay Myers, lead web development engineer at Best Buy, are a portal to better insight, in more ways than one (thoughts he’ll be sharing in more detail with attendees at this week’s Semantic Web Summit in Boston).  “There is a vast amount of data that corporations produce or are able to consume,” he says – and within that a huge amount of insight most of them aren’t tapping into, which is a real loss considering the challenging environment that businesses such as retailers confront.

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WEBCAST: Maximizing your Google SEO Effect with Semantic Web Technology

NOTE: This Webcast is in three parts.
Part I
Part II
Part III

DESCRIPTION: If own or manage a web site that contains information about products or services, you can add a relatively small amount of markup to existing HTML, and have semantic information that both Google and other semantic applications will be able to process. Many Web search engines, smart phone apps, and even cutting-edge applications like augmented reality search for and use this type of markup.

Adding semantic markup provides an improved display of the information in Google search results, providing an inherent SEO benefit. This is the same technology being successfully used by BestBuy, Overstock.com, and many others. Read more

Why Publishers of Digital Content Need to Know About the Semantic Web

Magazine stack - flickr photo by bravenewtravelerI know “semantic web” probably sounds like something the Chief Technology Officer should worry about, as opposed to the people who create and manage the content of a site. But for traditional content publishers, the realm of digital is such a vastly different landscape that understanding the unique opportunities – as well as the challenges – will offer a real advantage to content professionals who prepare themselves today.

For the first couple decades of digital content distribution, media companies primarily focused on how the digitization of their product made it harder for them to control the distribution channels. Initial technological developments attempted to recreate the controls and restrictions of traditional media distribution, keeping conditions as close as possible to the familiar expectations of content producers, advertisers, and consumers. But these attempts to slow the march of progress have been, at best, only partially successful. Read more

Emergent Analytics: Connecting the Dots Needs Semantic Web Technology

 

What is emergent analytics, and what’s a key ingredient for making it a successful effort in your enterprise?

To answer the first question, think of emergent analytics as a semantic software architecture that lets organizations get enterprise intelligence out of highly distributed data. And think about achieving that, not with a data warehouse that requires moving data from multiple systems to another place for analysis – where it almost instantaneously becomes out of date – but by enabling business units to describe their own information entities and artifacts that characterize their domains. They accomplish that using RDF descriptions organized in OWL ontologies. The result is that information assets can continue to live where they always have existed, but now, real-time data across systems can be graphically displayed and related to other data, opening the door to greater insight and better analysis.

That’s a powerful notion for organizations ranging from government institutions to enterprises that have been on acquisition sprees. In fact, the Department of Defense is involved in a project to do just that, enabling analysis across its various departments’ human resources systems. “It’s a 100 percent semantic technology-based approach to integrate data across HR domains – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and other agencies, and it’s been very successful thus far,” says Michael Lang Sr., co-founder, CEO and chairman of Revelytix.

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Picture This: Your Semantic Web UI

data intersection, semantic web, user interface

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Lance Shields

There’s plenty of discussion about the back-end of semantic web technologies, but maybe it’s time to focus a little more about how they are going to impact the front-end experience.

That subject will be tackled at the Semantic Web Summit by Duane Degler, principal at user-centered design and usabilityfirm Design for Context. It’s not surprising if the topic hasn’t gotten its due respect yet, as the early part of tech cycles generally are consumed more by the quest to understand the technology itself and less about fitting it into the larger environment.

 But fit it in, ultimately, we must,  to avoid the business risks of poorly introducing semantic technologies to user interfaces.  Read more

Fly Free, Content, Fly Free

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/jonycunha

Online content providers, it’s time to set your content free — but that’s going to take adding semantic structure to it.

Thoughts about why, how to do it, and its downstream impact on operations and staff will be shared by Rachel Lovinger, content strategy lead at Razorfish and the recent author of its report, Nimble: Publishing in the Digital Age, at the upcoming Semantic Web Summit. “The opportunity with semantic technology is to add a lot more structure and metadata to the content that gives it more meaning and context, so it can be used in different places, without being tied to a specific display,” Lovinger says. “But it still includes instructions and directions to make that content meaningful as it goes to different devices, different channels, and different platforms.”

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Semantic Social Networks: Facebook, Bing Partnership Just One Piece of A Bigger Data Interactions Picture

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/webtreats

There’s a world of possibilities in a web of data fidelity and data reusability. Social networking giants like Facebook see value in that, with its Open Graph protocol that has made each of its members’ profiles Semantic-Web ready and practically a de facto global identifier for its half-billion users. Microsoft’s Bing will be taking advantage of the data Facebook knows about its users, too, in its new partnership with the company that will surface in search results things like which of an individual’s friends “liked” a restaurant or who someone might want to friend based on mutual relationships.

In a widening space of data interactions, there are lots of interesting (perhaps even unsettling) opportunities. “It’s an exciting time–there’s a lot of potential and the Semantic Web is why it’s brought on,” says Marco Neumann, CEO of semantic consulting company Kona, who will be providing more insight into the issue of maximizing data fidelity and data reusability across heterogeneous social networking products at the upcoming Semantic Web Summit. Of course, with its huge footprint, Facebook likely will have a prime role in the development of a richer ecosystem of connected information, though some have concerns about its control over that data, how it’s being used, and how open it really is to the wider web. And, even with the weight Facebook brings to the social networking space, there are hundreds of other players whose participation will be important to realizing the potential of what Neumann dubs the Semantic Social Network product category.

“There are hundreds of social media sites that now all give you an ID, but they are all fragmented,” he says. But their many fragmented pieces around the web, if expressed in the form of Semantic Web data rather than as implicit links, are more likely to provide a more improved form of data access. “The Semantic Social Network is an augmentation that is layered on top of those existing fragmented islands of information, and that allows you to connect the dots,” Neumann says.
Indeed, Lotico is an example of what such a product is – it’s a 15,000 member-strong network of individuals who are part of the international Semantic Web Meetup community, and Neumann is chairman of its board. It uses a number of semantic technologies and standards to codify and define location, time, community and concepts, and publish its content as Linked Data. Neumann will give Summit attendees a view into how that Semantic Social Network defines the business logic around Meetups using FOAF, SIOC, the W3C Geo Vocabulary and other Semantic Web favorites, as well as how it defines its own vocabularies and their subclasses, in the service of making data more explicit. The example hopefully will serve as encouragement to other social networks to follow its lead. “The data fidelity is extremely descriptive and also flexible,” says Neumann. With a more flexible form of data representation, data is more accessible to third parties – i.e. reusable.

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Semantic Search: It’s the Application, Silly

beachsearch.jpg
Courtesy: Flickr/cotaro70s

Where’s semantic search going?

That’s a question that will be explored at the upcoming Semantic Web Summit – and here’s a preview of how one expert in the space plans to answer it. (The title of this blog, apologies to James Carville, is a hint.) Drawing both on his reading of the story, “The Web is Dead, Long Live the Internet” in the September issue of Wired</a, and personal experience watching his own kids interacting in cyberspace, Expert System USA CEO J. Brooke Aker thinks that semantic search lies within applications.

The two threads come together like this: The Internet as a means of exchanging information is fine, but the Web itself is messy and chaotic and dead-ending as the volume of information grows and keyword searches as a means of navigating it becomes ever more frustrating. And today’s younger generation is already blazing a different interaction trail – for them, the Internet typically is less about Googling things and more about living in its premier application, aka Facebook. There was an ah-ha moment in that for Aker: Where once (and quite often still) we think of applications as limiting compared to the freedom and potential connectedness of the Web, that equation is changing thanks to big pipes with rich bandwidth and no latency, the inexpensive and always-on capacity of the cloud, the openness and configurability of APIs for building Internet apps, and polished UIs that bring the desktop experience to Internet and mobile platforms.

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