19 May 2010

Semantic Web - What's the future hold?

I came across the video below which looks at the concept of the semantic web, describes the semantic web and then looks at some of the human factors around the semantic web - looking at the question - "should there be an ontology?" There are the purist who think of course there will be an ontology and then there are the pragmatic folks who believe the relationships may be more "scruffy" where there is a blending of structured ontology and more "personalised" ontologies.

While this video looks at this issue from a "global" web community, the same types of dynamics can be seen across an enterprise. There are people who believe everything can be neatly categorised and that the relationships between the data and categories can be mapped in a manner that will provide a tidy, clear, precise depiction of the enterprise and all the entities within it. It seems to me to be human nature to try and put everything inside boxes, but we don't all see the same boxes or the same connections between the boxes. In order for information to be to be found in a user-friendly manner, the search parameters need to match the individual user's construct of the world, which may have similarities with the majority of other users but is also likely to have differences. How then do we make the vast amounts of information being produced by the enterprise easily discoverable? A structured ontology may provide a starting point but how do we get down to the user-based view of the world?

I'm not sure how is the web going likely to grow from it's manually integrated information paradigm of today. While new technology will cause some level of change, a major influence is the way people interact with the web and make use of the technology already available. People have a knack for finding work-arounds and coming up with interesting ways of using tools. What does the future hold?

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

No comments:

Post a Comment