Even as semantic web concepts and tools are underpinning revolutionary changes in the way we discover and consume information, people with even a casual interest in the semantic web have difficulty understanding how and why this is happening. One of the most exciting application areas for semantic technologies is online publishing, although for thousands of small-to-medium sized publishers, unfamiliar semantic concepts are too intimidating to grasp the relevance of these technologies. This three-part series is part of my own journey to better understand how semantic technologies are changing the landscape for publishers of news and information. Read Part 2.
So far we’ve looked at the “cutting edge” of dynamic semantic publishing (BBC Olympics) and we’ve seen what tools large publishers such as the New York Times, Associated Press, and Agence France Press are using to semantically annotate their content.
And we’ve learned how semantic systems help publishers “Do More With Less”- that is, automate a lot of the work organizing content and identifying key concepts, entities, and subjects- and “Do More With More” – combine their content with related linked open data and present it in different contexts.
You may still be asking at this point, “What makes this so novel and cool? We know that semantic tools save time and resources. And some people say semantic publishing is about search optimization, especially after the arrival of Google’s Knowledge Graph. But the implications of semantic publishing are about oh so much more than search. What semantic systems are really designed for, to use the phrase attributed to Don Turnbull, is “information discovery” and, if semantic standards and tools are widely adopted in the publishing world, this could have huge implications for content and data syndication.