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Tagging and the Semantic Web

Tagging and the Semantic Web

A while back I commented on a Tech Crunch article quoting my CEO regarding keyword searches in the Semantic Web space. My comment was later quoted on the Faviki blog, a Semantic startup involving tagging web pages with semantic wikipedia data. Finding this prompted me to start writing more about the Semantic Web on my own blog. This is actually the first time I have ever posted about someone else’s post.
(The following is based on a presentation I gave on the subject in September of 2007.)

Tags the way they are implemented today

The way the better Web 2.0 sites implement tags involves faceting. I have discussed this in a previous blog post regarding faceting with Lucene and SOLR, but it in a nutshell, it allows you to group together documents or objects based on attributes. For example, give me all documents about ‘George Bush’ and ‘Washington’. The problem with these attributes is they have little or no value on their own and they certainly they are not understood by computers. They are just strings denoting some type of concept. Here is a short list of limitations which I feel the Semantic Web web will address:
– Tags do not provide enough meaningful metadata to make meaningful comparisons
– More information is needed besides their origin
– Tags are essentially a full text search mechanism, although faceting helps
– Need more relationships between tags and the objects they pertain to

The solution, tags as objects

Allowing users to tag an object with another object we can make extremely interesting comparisons; discerning a lot more information about the original object becomes simple and accurate. With this type of interrelationship we can pivot through the data like never before, not with full text search but object graph linkages that machines and humans can understand. Lets go over an example.

Continues @ Design Mills


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