Wednesday, November 15, 2006

International Semantic Web Conference 2006 (ISWC 2006) - Aftermath


Back home again, jetlag is almost gone while already travelling to Potsdam again for a talk on 'Semantic Annotation in Use'....After all, ISWC 2006 was a very nice and interesting conference...although being set up at a rather remote location (at least from my point of view). One of its highlights (as already pointed out) was the panel discussion about web 2.0 and semantic web. Leo Sauermann was raising the question, why there is such a bad marketing of semantic web technology. Obviously - as TBL was replied - because the W3C invests all funding into hiring scientist and not marketing people. One of the major problems is that semantic web applications don't look 'cool' and 'sexy' ... and therefore, they don't get public attention. BTW, right at the same time, the 3rd Web 2.0 conference took place in San Francisco. Why did the conference organizers of ISWC not try to organize a panel discussion with a live connection between the two conferences? At ISWC of course there were only 'Semantic Web'-people and (at least as far as I have realized) nobody from the 'Web 2.0'-community. Allright, you can be both SemWeb and Web2.0. But, as long as you are are focused on Semantic Web most people will have common focus (and argument) on Web 2.0. Another point of view for sure would have been interesting to listen to.

Closely related to the lack of marketing question is the question about the Semantic Web killer application. Nobody knows what type of application it will be - of course ... otherwise the application would already be there. But, as for all killer applications, it will not necessarely be somthing 'really' useful :) If you consider that the killer application for the WWW (at least for the time in its early beginnings back at CERN) was the 'telephone book'. Not to mention the sms and the mobile phone. Maybe the semantic web killer application will be related to rather ordinary applications such as a dating service that is really able to find a match....

BTW, I have switched to the new beta release of blogger.com... (comments should be working now - at last! - and also keywords)...and the other guy on the picture is Ulrich Küster (also from FSU Jena) at the ISWC dinner reception...

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