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Bill McDaniel, a Star in the Semantic Cosmos, Winks Out but Shines On

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This guest post comes to us from John Breslin. Thanks to John for allowing us to re-post this tribute, which originally appeared in his LinkedIn stream. This post was modified at 5:24 ET]

Photo of Bill McDaniel with StreamGlider logo.It is with deep regret that I learned this week of the passing of my good friend, colleague and StreamGlider co-founder, Bill McDaniel. Bill was, among many other things, a Semantic Web innovator and serial entrepreneur who co-founded a multitude of companies, shipped more than 70 products, and co-authored seven books and many more publications during his career.

I first met Bill McDaniel at the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), held in Galway in 2005. Bill was working as a senior research scientist at Adobe at that time. By chance, I happened to be seated across from Bill and another colleague of his from Adobe at the conference dinner, and I mentioned to them both that there were some job opportunities for researchers at DERI in NUI Galway that could be of interest. It turned out to be an opportune time for him to pursue a new challenge, as Bill joined DERI soon afterwards as a project executive in the eLearning Research Cluster.

Those who knew Bill through his Semantic Web work may be unaware of his long and varied career in information technology, with CEO, CTO and CRO roles in diverse areas such as electronic printing, wireless demand chain management, wireless retail loyalty, advanced 2D bar coding, AI-based military logistics, and of course semantically-powered mobile applications.

His career in IT stretches back nearly 40 years to 1975 when he worked as an operations programmer and manager with NCH Corp (at the time, saving the company $1M a year in order processing costs). He then joined Image Sciences in the 1980s as an R&D director, responsible for their $20M flagship product DocuMerge. From then into the 1990s he was CTO and co-owner of GenText, sold to Xenos for $12M in 1998.

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The Semantic Link – February, 2013: “Libraries” with Karen Coyle

Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, February 8, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Eric Franzon, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about libraries, an area that has seen a great deal of activity in the Linked Data space recently.

“The Linkers” were joined by a very special guest to discuss what’s been happening in the library world: Karen Coyle.
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The Semantic Link – December, 2012

Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

In December, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Eric Franzon, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about the newly launched Open Data Institute (ODI) in the UK, and “the Linkers” were joined by a special guest: Nigel Shadbolt, Chairman and Co-Founder of the ODI. You can learn more about the ODI here.
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The Semantic Link – October, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, October 12, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about various approaches to building semantic systems, and “the Linkers” were joined by two special guests: Hadley Beeman, expert in Government Linked Data and Open Data; and Joel Natividad, CEO & Co-Founder, Ontodia.
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The Semantic Link – September, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, September 15, a group of Semantic Technology thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about Big Data and Semantics, as well as some discussion of general trends in the Semantic Technology space.
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The Semantic Link with Guest, Nick Holzherr of ‘The Apprentice’ and Whisk – July, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, July 13, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies.

Whisk LogoThis episode includes a discussion with Nick Holzherr, finalist on the BBC One Television Series, “The Apprentice,” and founder of Whisk, a recipe planning idea based on big data and semantic analysis. He was named ‘emerging entrepreneur of the year’ by Insider Magazine in 2010, and Birmingham Young Personality of the Year (Entrepreneurship) in 2011.
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The Semantic Link – The SemTechBiz Recap – June, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, June 15, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about the recent SemTechBiz Conference in San Francisco and where the world of Semantic Tech is today.
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The Semantic Link on Financial Services with Guest, Lee Feigenbaum – May, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, May 11, a group of Semantic Technology thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about Semantics in the Financial Services Industry, and “the Linkers” were joined by special guest, Lee Feigenbaum, VP Marketing & Technology at Cambridge Semantics. Lee shared insights gained over many years working in the semantic technology field and with numerous customers in the financial services industry.
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The Semantic Link with Guest, Daniel Tunkelang – April, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, April 13, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about various approaches to building semantic systems, and “the Linkers” were joined by special guest, Daniel Tunkelang, Principal Data Scientist, LinkedIn. Daniel — who will deliver a keynote address at the June Semantic Technology & Business Conference — shared insights gained over many years working at LinkedIn, Endeca, and Google, and IBM among others.
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The Semantic Link with Guest, Denny Vrandecic – February, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, February 10, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about data; specifically, the recently announced “wikidata” project with special guest, Denny Vrandecic.
At the recent SemTechBiz Berlin conference, Denny presented a talk titled, “Wikidata: The Next Big Thing for Wikipedia.” As evidenced in the “Wow’s” expressed by the panelists in this month’s podcast call, this is indeed a big deal for Wikipedia and for Semantic Web. Read more

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