Saturday, November 24, 2007

The giant global graph, where Semantic Web and Web 2.0 meet

For the first time we're seeing major agreement between what were two completely separated philosophies on the web (except for the occasional comments on each side crossing to the other).

Last week Tim Berners-Lee blogged about the giant global graph (ggg), a new layer of abstraction on top of the net (internet, linking computers) and the web (linking documents).
"Now, people are making another mental move. There is realization now, "It's not the documents, it is the things they are about which are important". Obvious, really." says Tim Berners-Lee.

In the end, the so long awaited convergence between Semantic Web and Web 2.0 are graphs like FOAF (friend of a friend).
This was the first graph to became increasingly important recently covering a user need to own their social networks instead of having one particular social website own it for them. Now, for the first time both web 2.0 community and Tim B-L are mentioning each other on their blogs in agreement on graphs and web evolution. It seems like the first step for the re-converted Semantic Web is out there, not too surprisingly pushed by the social net needs, even if it will expand to many other areas.

One more extract from Tim's blog that shows the vision for the future (so we don't get too caught up on the social network thing):
"In the long term vision, thinking in terms of the graph rather than the web is critical to us making best use of the mobile web, the zoo of wildy differing devices which will give us access to the system. Then, when I book a flight it is the flight that interests me. Not the flight page on the travel site, or the flight page on the airline site, but the URI (issued by the airlines) of the flight itself. That's what I will bookmark. And whichever device I use to look up the bookmark, phone or office wall, it will access a situation-appropriate view of an integration of everything I know about that flight from different sources. The task of booking and taking the flight will involve many interactions. And all throughout them, that task and the flight will be primary things in my awareness, the websites involved will be secondary things, and the network and the devices tertiary."

Thinking space has an interesting point when analyzing the appearance of the ggg. The new graph abstraction might be an early indicator of a switch in the path of web evolution. Yihong Ding, envisions a future web that is viewer oriented instead of publisher oriented. I like this idea of users getting to their own personalized view of the web on this new layer of abstraction. Each user's cyberworld would be the intersection between their own graphs and the graphs out there.

This is getting exciting!
I wonder what would be next? The big bionic brain (bbb, not to say big brave brain) maybe? ;)

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