Thursday, May 18, 2006

The influence of wikis, case study

Definition of the Semantic Web:

The Semantic Web is a current project under the direction of Tim Berners-Lee of the World Wide Web Consortium to extend the ability of the World Wide Web by developing standards and tools that allow meaning to be added to the content of webpages. The goal of the semantic web is to create a universal medium for the exchange of data by allowing meaning to be given, using tools and tags, to the content within webpages.

Currently the world wide web contains html, which is a language that is useful for displaying graphics and text but does not lend any meaning to the content it describes. The semantic web will address this issue by allowing content to be described in XML documents using tools like RDF and OWL which are types of tags. These description tags that lend meaning to the content facilitates automated information gathering and research by computers.

In round numbers, this means machine processable web pages that facilitate information gathering software robots, which will be able to automatically pick up on the connections between information in different places.

Semantic Interoperability (XML Web Services) Community of Practice (SICoP)

The purpose of this CoP is to support two CIO Council Committees: (1) the Best Practices Committee's Knowledge Management Working Group and its Semantic Interoperability CoP, and (2) the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee's Emerging Technology Subcommittee in its work with the other two subcommittees (Enterprise Architecture Governance and Components) and the e-Gov Initiatives in their use of Semantic XML Web Services to demonstrate increased accessibility and interoperability. Background on CIO Council's XML Web Services Working Group (August 2002-September 2003): Brainstorming Session and Charter.

The Semantic Interoperability Community of Practice is the federal government’s group to rationalize the government’s XML components in a way that will promote interoperability and information sharing. If you build this kind of software, or any software that is likely to interact with it, the decisions made by the participants on this wiki will have an enormous impact on your company. Their decisions will become the de facto industry standard.

Could there be a clearer example of why wikis must be taken seriously?

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