A Quora user posed this challenge to the network: “How do you explain semantic web to a nine-year old child in one sentence?” The challenge was followed by a quote from Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

Some of the best responses so far include, “A web where computers better understand the real meaning of the words we use to communicate with them.” “Hi Timmy, the web is like one giant big book written by a lot of people. And the semantic web is another book describing how the first book should be read.” And, “Semantic web is like the magic mirror in Shrek – you ask it, ‘Can I go to a pool?’ and it tells you, ‘Yes, you can, because the weather is good and the pool you like to go to is open.’”

We at Semantic Web recently offered up a challenge of our own: give us your best elevator pitch answering the question, “What is the Semantic Web?” We’ve received some great pitches so far (listed below) and we’re still accepting new pitches.

Sandro Hawke, W3C – for a general audience

David Wood, Talis – for journalistic research

Mark Montgomery, Kyield – for enterprise decision makers

Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister (not an official pitch) – for government and citizenry

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ ricardodiaz11