The Very Near Future of the Web Part 8 – The Semantic Web

originally posted on Concept Hub

This is the final post of the Very Near Future of the Web series, and possibly the most intimating for me to write. The reason is the crystal ball is still very fuzzy when it comes to the Semantic Web as far as how close we are and how it will evolve.

What is the Semantic Web? It is what many refer to as Web 3.0. It is the vision of computers or machines that has existed long before we all had computer technology in the palm of our hands.

The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing, and combining information on the web. (Source Wikipedia)

I.robot It is all the sci-fi plots of the past coming to life.

So how close are we to allowing computers work and think alongside of us?

This past week Semantic Web The Blog posted interviews with some well-known thought leaders in this space and each one of them had a different idea of how far we’ve come.

Like many of the other innovations that have been discussed the past several weeks on this blog, I believe that the semantic web will seamlessly become part of our lives.

Why?

Let’s look at what the web can do for us already.

* Amazon.com and Netflix can make pretty good recommendations based on past purchasing behavior of you and people who “are most like you.”
* Pandora.com has an amazing engine that allows you to create a custom radio station by inputing songs or artists that you like and then giving songs a thumbs up or down, adjusting the algorithms so that you get your own personalized station.
* StumbleUpon does the same thing, but for the entire web! You can customize your web surfing experiences, or narrow it for just images or customize you video surfing experiences. Beyond that, StumbleUpon now takes your social network’s preferences in consideration and tells you how similar you are to other people in their network. I do believe people who want to see the future of the web need to pay more attention to StumbleUpon.
* Delicious can recommend which tags you should use when you save a link.
* Ads are being served based on who we are and what kind of mood we are in. We will be seeing the same thing with search in the very very near future.

Basically, the web is learning about who we are and what we want.

I first heard of the Semantic Web a few years ago and ever since have been trying to wrap my mind around it. However it seems that in the past several months the ideology has been getting more and more mainstream attention.

Earlier this year, the ABC launched three new socially networked digital radio websites — ABC Dig Music, ABC Jazz and ABC Country — which aggregate content from several different sources, including MusicBrainz, YouTube, Last.fm and Wikipedia. It is not only a new approach for a content-rich organisation such as the ABC, it illustrates the possibilities of Semantic Web technology. The artists pages on the site, which form the core functionality, automatically pull in content from around the Web. (Source Computer World)

Read Write Web has been doing a great job of covering the evolution of the Semantic Web. A few weeks ago they listed their picks for the top 10 Semantic Web products. Most likely the only one on the list you would might heard of is Google.

So we have reached the point where the concepts of the Semantic Web are not just in theory or in sci-fi plots, but are rapidly being integrated into our lives.

What does that mean as far as how we related to the web?

1. Information will be interlinked throughout several pages. As a marketer you must be part of those links, which means being part of several communities.

2. Your community connections will greatly impact your web experience.
What that means for a marketer is they have to be part of several communities if they are going to get any attention on the web.

3. Your web experience will be personalized based on how you use the web and what information you chose to share on the web. What that means for marketers is they have to know what is important to the people they are trying to reach.

Basically, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and other such communities have only the appetizers for what is to come… in the very near future