Friday, September 28, 2007

CSSW 2007 - Conf. on Social Semantic Web in Leipzig - Aftermath

Back again -- this time in Jena -- I have a few minutes left to draw some resume about the last to days at CSSW 2007.

But first, I have to continue, where I left the day before. The final event yesterday (before the conference diner) was a panel discussion on the topic 'Is there a Social Semantic Web?' with Kingsley Idehen, Marc Fleischmann, KJlaus-Peter Fähnrich, Matthias Bärwolf, and myself. First at all, we did not provide any valid answer to the overall question. In the end, we were discussing, why the Semantic Web does not get the right attention, about (working) business models in Social Web and Social Semantic Web, and about incentives for participation (as well as on open source and open data)....

Finally, I really enjoyed this conference (esp. if you consider my bad experiences with the two conferences last week). O.k., maybe this was because the conference's topic was closer to my core interests compared to e-Learning (DeLFI) or XML (XML-Tage Berlin). There were also much more interesting people to meet, esp. I'm looking forward to meet again a collegue at Potsdam (Universität Potsdam, not HPI). I think, the basic question (as mentioned before) 'Is there a Social Semantic Web?' can be answered with YES. Why?...simply because many Social Semantic Web applications have been resented in the last two days, ranging from Semantic Wikis (where semantic data is authored in a collaborative way), over social networking applications that make use of implicit (semantic) data (and vice versa). I also guess that the topic will become even more important in the very next years. One major point (or objection) was the question about a (working) business model and the incentives being necessary to convince people to participate. It's rather difficult to predict the people's attitude and behaviour. Of course, maybe it's just 'ease of use'. Wikipedia is successful, because everybody can participate with only small effort (he/she must only be able to speak the Wiki-Language). Given that most people have some extraverted tendencies, given the user community of an aplication is of sufficient size, social reputation is an important incentive fr participation. But first, you need to have a sufficient large user community to attract users. Thus, it's similar to the chicken-and-egg problem....
Nevertheless, I hope this tpoic will also be present at this year's IWLS in Korea....

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