Archives: December 2010

Happy New Year: What’s Ahead for the Semantic Web (Part 2)

Our experts’ insight into the very near future continues from here….

Where Search is Heading, Where Data is Going

Starting with 2010, I think the most significant event was Google’s acquisition of Freebase.

The number one search player voted for the importance of the Semantic Web with dollars and this is a significant win for the space and a sign that it has matured.

In terms of expectations, we can, in the near term, expect more relevant search results and possibly ranking of related topics coming directly from Google. Other uses of Freebase are possible as well, in terms of doing complex queries that aren’t easy to do using statistical algorithms like Page Rank.

Beyond that, we should see progress along two dimensions — one is on-the-fly transformation of non-structured data into structured and second one is intelligent programs that actually take advantage of structured information. Regarding the first one, we are still in the world where Freebase is mostly static, while Google search is dynamic. Bridging the gap where structured information is created on an ongoing basis, and perhaps on-the-fly, is important.

And then I think we are going to see more agent based systems re-appear. As information gets more and more structured it is only a matter of time before agent-based software comes to the spotlight. This time, the key will be simple/clean UX/UI and crystal-clear focus on a vertical problem to make sure it  has a chance for mass market adoption. – Alex Iskold, founder and CEO, AdaptiveBlue

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Happy New Year: What’s Ahead for the Semantic Web (Part 1)

The New Year’s almost here, and of course that brings with it a time to reflect on what’s been and muse on what’s ahead. To that end, the Semantic Web Blog asked some industry names to share their perspectives – and concerns about some of the direction, as well. Start reading about them today, and join us again tomorrow for their insights, Part 2.

Ka-Ching: There’s Money To Be Made

One thing clearly on the practical side is that the number of new datasets that appear is just coming and coming and coming. It’s very difficult to give exact estimates on how many new data sets on the semantic web appear per week or month but it’s really high…..That data is important, data on the web is important, and handling and working with data on the web is important as a trend. There are zillions of small technical details on how this should be done, what format and do you do it with HTML or not, but the overall trend is very clear and I don’t think it can be stopped. [So] I hope we will get really serious and see new types of real applications, not only in terms of experimentation but real apps that make money in some way or other using the Linked Data that’s out there. We saw some appearing in 2010 and I hope – and have good hopes – that in 2011 we will see that.  – Ivan Herman, Semantic Web Activity Lead, W3c

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Semantic Search and Annotation Service iGlue Aims To Change The Way of Connecting Content Online

iGlue? IceCube? It’s not the latest or revised rap music sensations but the names of a new semantic search engine service, and its bookmark widget or plug-in that helps users connect with more information around a subject, be it text or media resources, either from within its own borders or on other sites they’re browsing.

Because it’s semantic, it’s designed to intuit the difference between Ice Cube the real rapper and, well, IceCube the widget. And, users can use the widget to click on entities around the web – including their own pages – and adding annotations to them right from there, which can then be viewed by anyone in real time. “iGlue changes the way of connecting online content. A layer of metadata can be overlaid on web pages where the user can organize knowledge independently from the concrete location of the information,” says founder Peter Vasko, painting his vision of the service. “No matter to which page the user adds value by inserting relevant annotations, his or her changes will appear on every other page where the same content is present. Imagine that instead of scattering comments, opinions etc. over several web sites where a given product is mentioned or a news article is quoted, they can be accessed everywhere in their entirety. So we are able to join the same conversation from any place the article appeared.”

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Semantic Company Anboto Tops Innovate!100

 A year-long global competition for startups has ended, and a company that successfully leverages Semantic Technologies has taken top prize.

Innovate! 2010 - GuidewireGroupOver the last year, the startup analyst and advisory firm Guidewire Group and its partners conducted Pitch Slam events in 30 cities on five continents, evaluating startups based on the G/SCORE(TM) Assessment Methodology. One of these Pitch Slams took place at the SemTech Conference last June.  The G/SCORE measures companies on seven key factors of business execution providing concrete feedback on where the company is today and where it needs to go in order to build value into the business.

More than 500 companies participated in the 2010 program, and the top ones were chosen for the final Innovate!100 list.

Anboto Group - Winner of the Innovate!2010 CompetitionIn this inaugural year, sitting atop that list of 100 was Anboto Group. The Bilbao-based company leverages semantic technology expertise to provide solutions that enable easy and smart interaction in natural language between customers and computers. Read more

Holiday Gifts On Semantic Web Experts’ Lists

Image Courtesy: Flickr/Lori Greig

It doesn’t matter whether this month you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, or anything else. In December, most everyone’s thoughts turn to presents. So, what makes it to the top of some semantic web and data experts’ holiday gift lists for their friends, family, colleagues – the world?

We asked, and their (mostly) semantic-web inspired holiday lists include some real and some imagined – not to mention imaginative – ideas. Read on:

John Breslin, Lecturer and researcher at NUI Galway, Creator of SIOC

If I could give out some Christmas tools or tips to colleagues or friends, the first would be to try out Drupal 7 on their own website, and get the metadata out there. I’d also ask that my friends show their friends some of the cool semantically-powered tools like Siri or to show the power of linking things together with semantics. Finally, in terms of useful non-semantic free programs, I’d give out Evernote, Dropbox, Inkscape, the Gimp, and TweetDeck (great for multiple keyword searches like “semantic web” OR semanticweb OR “sem web” OR semweb). Oh, and an online backup program of your choice, like Mozy or CrashPlan!

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Hey Google: It’s Not Your Sentiment Analytics!

This week a press release came out from General Sentiment that said that an official Google blog implied that the search engine giant itself owned the start-up’s sentiment analysis system – which it doesn’t. No hard feelings, though – General Sentiment would be happy to pursue a deeper relationship.

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Introduction to: Linked Data

So, what IS Linked Data?

Linked Open Data Cloud

Linking Open Data cloud diagram, by Richard Cyganiak and Anja Jentzsch.

I don’t know if you have realized, but the web is evolving from a global information space of interlinked documents into a global information space of interlinked data. But what does that even mean? Consider a database that you have in your company or on your website. It consists of tables and attributes with data in them. You can group all the related data in a table and also link it to other data residing in another table through a foreign key. You are also able to query your database in order to get the exact information you desire. This is an information space. Read more

Registration Now Open for SemTech 2011

Semantic Technology Conference, June 5-9, 2011, San Francisco, CA

The 2011 Semantic Technology Conference (#SemTech) will be held at the Hilton Union Square in downtown San Francisco on June 5-9, 2011. Now in its sixth year, SemTech 2011 is the world’s largest educational conference for the community of executives, technologists, researchers, investors and customers who are involved with semantic technologies.

SemTech 2011 features five days of presentations, panels, tutorials, announcements, new company/product launches, and conversations.  It’s a place for new learning, professional networking, and business development.

Registration is now open, and best pricing is available for registrations paid by January 31, 2011.

Also, The Call for Presentations for SemTech 2011 is still open. We welcome you to submit session proposals until Monday, January 10, 2011. For complete information about submitting proposals, visit the site.

WEBCAST: AIDA – Semantic Real Time Intelligent Decision Automation

Craig D. Hanson, Amdocs and Jans Aasman, Franz, Inc.If you missed last week’s discussion with Craig D. Hanson of Amdocs and Jans Aasman of Franz, Inc., the recorded webcast is now available and posted below.


In today’s connected online world, to optimize a customer oriented business requires real time contextual customer knowledge across all business channels and relevant social and competitive forces. Read more

Semantic Web Site Hopes To Break Down Trade Barriers

Can semantic web technology help make business interactions among buyers and suppliers – around the corner or around the world – more transparent and lead to better communications, even across language barriers? A new project coming out of Poland hopes to make that case. Dubbed the Momoway Business Searcher, available as a beta service here, has as its goal providing a one-stop shop for business and trade, by easing communication and B2B contacts between manufacturers and buyers. Thought up by Momoway lead software developer Karol Balejko and co-financed by European Union funds, the site gathers business information – data about products, services, and trade fairs – into one spot, from which buyers can search for what they need from thousands of suppliers across the world. 

There are other online trade platforms out there, of course, but as Balejko says in an email exchange with the Semantic Web Blog, they present some obstacles because of narrow parameters or language restrictions. For starters, “most trade platforms today have products listed according to preset categories instead of letting suppliers themselves choose exactly which words they want to use to describe their products,” explains Balejko, who also is a software architect, Java expert and Grails developer. “Suppliers listing their categories on Momoway are not only able to add words if needed, they can also use as many tags as they want to describe their products. This does not necessarily lead to lower costs, but it certainly simplifies the ordering process for purchasing departments because they are able to find exactly what they need – quickly and efficiently.” People listing their products are not limited by the short-comings of having to place their products into categories that aren’t “quite right,” he says – that practice leads to their product possibly not getting a fair description, and so becoming harder to find by potential buyers out there.

One of the problems with non-semantic search engines is that they do not register, index or link the semantics in phrases. There are too many combinations – millions – so that’s why they’re often just lumped into categories instead of analyzing words that go together – or, for example, synonyms,” he says. As an example, semantic searches should recognize that ‘friendly, favorable, and well-disposed’ should be placed in the same search results, because the adjective has the same meaning.

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