What if we went from a document-based Internet to a data-based Internet?

This post is a spontaneous contribution from Clément Ollivier, student in communications and author of an excellent French-language blog (kapecom).  Clément was very excited by worldwide web founding father Time Beners-Lee’s talk at TED in March 2009 (video below).  Without further ado, here’s Clément:

Hello, I am a student in communications and big fan of this blog.  I recently discovered a “Killer Idea” and I wanted to share it with you.  In today’s web that we know, we are evolving from sharing documents to sharing links.  When we enter information into a search engine, we feed it key words and the search engine gives us a list of documents that it finds the most pertinent.  For example, if I look for information on Nietzsche, the first page that comes up is Wikipedia, next a list of citations.  However, if I try and look for the names of Italian cities that Nietzsche visited, it would take a long time to find informative, coherent information on this subject—provided that there even IS data published on this subject.

That’s where we are now: data.  So-called “linked data” seeks to make a maximum amount of brute data available, all interconnected by a search engine that can find the most relevant information.  Imagine then, the possibilities if all data bases, attached to documents on (or off) line could dialogue among themselves?

This is what we call the new Web 3.0, and it should be just as exciting as this past decade was online!  As says Tim Berners-Lee: “It’s called Linked Data.  I want you to make it.  I want you to demand it. And I think it’s an idea worth spreading”


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