[FoRK] base is out...

Luis Villa luis.villa
Wed Nov 16 12:42:49 PST 2005


On 11/16/05, mattj at newsblip.com <mattj at newsblip.com> wrote:
> Pretty interesting, for a number of reasons.  One quick take is that it's an
> effort to build a Semantic Web through folksonomies, rather than structured
> ontology.  (Which is more and more what I favor; the Web itself only succeeded
> because it was so loosey-goosey.)

It succeeded because it was easy and low effort; it happened that in
the Web case loosey-goosey was the same as easy and low effort, but
that isn't always the case. 'folksonomies' (or more precisely,
individuals tagging stuff in an unstructured way, which happens to
create folksonomies as a side effect) succeed when they are easier
than collecting structured data, which happens to be a pain in most
cases. But in cases where structured data is easy to create (which I
think will be more and more cases in the future, for a number of
reasons) folksonomies suck. The interesting task for the next
generation of metadata/semantic-web apps is how to make creating such
structured data as easy and low-effort as possible. This is what the
microformat folks are going after, and what the next generation of
OSes *should* do well if they are smart. [The amount of metadata our
OSes throw away is mindboggling.]

As to the response to this email... I think flickr and others are
proving that relatively unstructured metadata can still be very useful
to large numbers of people, and if you insist on perfect,
dublin-core-compliant taxonomies for all data, the rest of the world
is going to pass you by, even if in some far-off day you might catch
up with them.

Luis



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