Thursday, June 05, 2008

Talis on Web 2,0, Semantic Web, and Web 3.0

I was honoured to have been interviewed by Richard Wallis of Talis. I was also quite humbled by the whole experience, as I learned just how far I've come in my understanding of the SemWeb and how much more I have to go. We had a good chat about Web 2.0, Semantic Web, and Web 3.0. Have a listen to the podcast. Any comments are welcomed. For those who want a synopsis of what we had discussed, here is my distilled version:

1. Why librarians? - Librarians have an important role to play in the SemWeb. Information organization are traits and skills that librarians have which are relevant to the SemWeb architecture. Cataloguing, classification, indexing, metadata, taxonomies & ontologies -- these are the building blocks of LIS.

2. What will the SemWeb look like? - Think HDTV. I believe the SemWeb will be a seamless transition, one that will be lead by innovators - companies and individuals that will pave the way with the infrastructure for it to happen, yet at the same time will not alienate those who don't want to encode their applications and pages with SemWeb standards. But like HDTV, those who fall behind will realize that they'll need they'll eventually need to convert...

3. Is this important right now? - Not immediately. The SemWeb might have minimal effect on the day-to-day work of librarians, but the same could be said for computer programmers and software engineers. Right now, we are all waiting for that killer application that will drive home the potentials of the SemWeb. So until that transpires, there is much speculation and skepticism.

4. What do librarians need to do? -
Learn XML, join the blogosphere's discussion of the SemWeb, discuss with colleagues, pay attention to RDA, continue questioning the limitations of Web 2.0. Just because we don't see it yet, doesn't mean it should stop us from joining the discourse. Think string theory.

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