A New York Times article came out today about the Semantic Web — in which I was quoted, speaking about my company Radar Networks. Here’s an excerpt:
Social tagging: Artificial Intelligence > Collective Intelligence > Global Brain and Global Mind > Intelligence Technology > Knowledge Management > Radar Networks > Semantic Web > Social Networks > Software > The Future > The Metaweb > Web 2.0
Referred to as Web 3.0, the effort is in its infancy, and the very
idea has given rise to skeptics who have called it an unobtainable
vision. But the underlying technologies are rapidly gaining adherents,
at big companies like I.B.M. and Google
as well as small ones. Their projects often center on simple, practical
uses, from producing vacation recommendations to predicting the next
But in the future, more powerful systems could act as
personal advisers in areas as diverse as financial planning, with an
intelligent system mapping out a retirement plan for a couple, for
instance, or educational consulting, with the Web helping a high school
student identify the right college.
The projects aimed at
creating Web 3.0 all take advantage of increasingly powerful computers
that can quickly and completely scour the Web.
“I call it the
World Wide Database,” said Nova Spivack, the founder of a start-up firm
whose technology detects relationships between nuggets of information
mining the World Wide Web. “We are going from a Web of connected
documents to a Web of connected data.”
Web 2.0, which describes
the ability to seamlessly connect applications (like geographical
mapping) and services (like photo-sharing) over the Internet, has in
recent months become the focus of dot-com-style hype in Silicon Valley.
But commercial interest in Web 3.0 — or the “semantic Web,” for the
idea of adding meaning — is only now emerging.
In 2000 I had a conversation with InfoSpace founder Naveen Jain about enriching the context of his business offerings with more emphasis on the people populating the Web.
My first surprise was that Jain admitted that he didn’t understand what I was talking about, and passed me on to his second-in-command. The second surprise was when this executive explained that because my idea represented a “deep” use of the Web, it wasn’t interesting to them. They had decided that the money (ergo value) in Web usage would come from deconstructing and commodifying every communication.
The failures of the early dot-coms had a lot to do with the fact that the snake oil salesmen like Jain who started them didn’t see the long-term value of the Web as a way to better connect high-context people through higher-meaning communications. Today’s article in the Times acknowledges the shift toward what I proposed unsuccessfully to Jain six years ago. Your approach will take us where the Web should have been going all along–as a vehicle that builds on the riches of human experience that can help each of us become Renaissance men and women.
I’m very interested in sharing my ideas with others. Please be in touch!
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”- George Bernard Shaw
Not surprising that the brightest minds are in a small club. And interesting that the Times article talks about Radar and Metaweb in the same paragraph, but fails to mention that Lew Tucker worked at Danny Hillis’ Thinking Machines. I imagine that web 3.0 will make these connections obvious, without having to click through endless sources.
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