Eric Hoffer recently shared some advice for attendees at this week’s Semantic Technology Conference. Hoffer writes, “I’ll mention a few of the points made during the Semantic-Link live podcast on Sunday, an opening sessions that I was part of.  In particular, I wanted to touch on the ‘Advice to new attendees’ (who represented a surprisingly massive portion of those who had already checked in for the week).”

Said advice includes, “(1) Talk to anyone about anything.  This is an extremely diverse, giving, open and accessible group of people… (2) Try to sample from the uniquely WIDE variety of topical material covered.  It is rare that you’ll find the range of material that is accessible. (3) Don’t try to get deeply into the intricacies of each component of the stack.  Instead, get enough of a sense of how each of the components relates to one another – so you can then consider the context of anything you encounter here. (4) Don’t be afraid to walk out of a session you determine is not for you, and head into another you were considering. (5) Value the hallway conversations as much as the sessions themselves. (6) Decide whether you are trying to learn everything and anything you can – or if you are seeking out specific solutions or material to justify an agenda – and navigate accordingly.”

Hoffer added, “One topic released too recently to be on the agenda, is the schema.org arrangement between Google, Bing and Yahoo around the common use the Microdata vocabulary (vs RDFa or Microformats), which is less expressive and easier to implement.  The question put out during the opening panel discussion was whether this good, bad, important, unimportant… to the Semantic Web community.  The only consensus of the panel was that it will generate much discussion on all sides of the matter during the week – and that is a good thing.”

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