Category Archives: Out There

Long Live The Web of Linked Data

We are all dependent on the right data getting to the right place at the right time.  There can’t be a person on the planet who hasn’t been affected by computers.

The internet as we know it and the things we can do with it (or on it) are only limited by the imagination (and funding).  People will still want to consume data, people will still need services, want to buy or sell things and be entertained.  People want to feel safe.  People like to trust and trust is something that is built.

To try and help you understand the bigger picture you need to think of the internet and the web as different things.  For a moment of light relief  to explain how this change is starting to help one generation  ‘Semantic Web vs Web 20‘ has to be seen.  (what was Web 0.1 ? then)

The Internet is what we’ve had the Web is what comes next.

It comes as a shock to most to find out that the internet isn’t as clever as they thought it was.  Everyone assumed that because all of these pages linked to other pages they liked or they could watch videos on, or read etc. etc. that this was the ‘intelligence‘ of computers or programs.   What we had was what people created for us to use based on what they had available 20 years ago.

In laymans terms “20 years in to a 50 year plan of development, computers can finally understand things”.  Read in: now watch what you can do help make it better.

Many, in all walks of life , forget that the web was invented by someone. His name is Tim Berners-Lee and the reason we have the web and it’s guiding principles need to be understood by everyone who uses it.  The web embraces us all and reading recent comments on the 20th birthday of the web

The Web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity—and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending

highlighted facts and concerns we all share, Long Live The Web makes compelling reading. As he says “”Why should you care? Because the Web is yours.”

Look at it from their map of the world.

The public and private sector share the same goals and networks.  If everyone is heading down the same technology improvement path isn’t it great to know that all computers can speak a common language.  Now we know that, we can start asking for things and contributing to it’s improvement.

With the end line “invest your way out“, the comments of Craig Barrett are a wonderful insight into business and how our lives and our existence are shaped by the cogs of the investment wheel. “Technology Only Moves Forward” was part of a day of talks when the Irish Technology Leadership Group visited Ireland last year.

There are some great key takeaways in pointing the way forward by Tom Murphy.  The two final quotes well worth taking on board.

It’s always been about making life better

There has always been discussion and development and it has to an extent been hindered by what to call it, the technology. Jamie Forrest says in ‘The Next Phase is Not Web 3.0’ that it is all about context that we won’t call it web 3.0.

Talk to the man on the street about The Semantic Web and eyes glaze over.  To be fair Where the semantic web stumbled, linked data will succeed is excellent but even linked data isn’t understood throughout the supply chain. What can’t be argued is

Linked data is, at last, bringing the discussion around to the user. The consumer “end” trumps the semantic “means.”

What do people need?

Understanding.  As a rough guess I’d say 99.9% of the world population don’t have a clue about the possibilities of what the web can do for them now that ‘computers’ can ‘understand’ ‘things’.  If it helps to create a mental time line of Win3.1, 95 & 98, XP, Vista, 7  so they can relate to ongoing improvements,  it’s a good place to start.

Add to that an image of the earliest telephone and compare to what they have in their hand today.

To make all of this existing infrastructure work and cope with increase in demand means everyone follows the same basic open standards which are free to use, anyone can contribute to a common improvement.  With all sectors inventing the same wheel rolling down the same path using the same data for the benefit of people, people are concerned about security.


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