May 19, 2004

WWW 2004 Day 1

Street Scene
  • Today is "WWW Day" according to Mayor Bloomberg
  • Tim Berners-Lee Keynote Address:
    • The new top-level domain names are a bad idea because they aren't a fundamentally new idea. They are supposedly trying to increase the number of short domain names, but in fact someone who owns is more or less forced to buy to maintain trademark control. So at the end of the day it looked like it was just a cash cow for the domain name registers.
    • He used the acronym FOAF: Friend of a Friend. I hadn't heard of that acronym before.
    • Good point: The semantic web will take off as people write thin skins that publish things in RDF format as well as current formats like HTML.
    • A question was posed about how the semantic web could take off because it commoditizes a lot of what web-sites have done to differentiate themselves and it breaks the advertising business model. Tim's response was that the semantic web is a new thing and therefore old business models won't necessarily work. He also made the point that in a lot of cases, communication benefits both parties and in these situations publishing semantic web data will work because both the provider and the receiver benefit. He cautioned against data providers who corrupt the data with advertising such as data integrators that only provide data on restaurants that have paid to be included. This seems like it won't be a problem as long as it's clear that people are paying to be included in the stream. Just like search engines that allow paid placements. Sometimes you want that, sometimes you don't, but you never want to not know which you are using.
  • Oren referenced a citation for the Google score that we use in GUIDE to figure out the probability of an object in an activity. He called it point-wise mutual information and said it was introduced by "Turney '01". I'll email him for more details.
  • "Haystack" is the name of a semantic web browser that looks pretty cool. It uses semantic information to control the views of information. It looks like it might be something big in an early stage.
Posted by djp3 at May 19, 2004 6:57 AM | TrackBack (0)

FOAF is a format for storing social network information, who your friends are, what you like, etc. I first heard of it when livejournal added FOAF export from people's user profiles.

Posted by: mike perkowitz at May 19, 2004 8:12 AM

There is also talk by a lot of people of using a FOAF (or similar) scheme to do anti-spam whitelisting to allow you to express the idea the people that don says are ok are more likely to be ok with me. I've seen differing opinions about this idea...

Posted by: Ian Smith at May 21, 2004 5:04 PM
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