Web 2.0 and the Birth of the Semantic Web

In 2005, critics of Web 2.0 were confident that it was a fad, claiming that it was another bubble waiting to burst. Some folks assert that we are witnessing the Web 2.0 “fizzling” out right now. I disagree.

The Web 2.0 movement is now full steam ahead. The net is buzzing as new products and services are released almost everyday. It is now standard that web-based service providers make functionality available to enterprising developers via APIs. A new breed of applications leveraging web services are being created at astonishing rates by these developers. Mashups are such a big deal that the original bad-boy of venture capital, Kleiner Perkins, recently funded Platial – a mashup built using Google Maps. The web is changing so fast that a set of bloggers, such as Mike Arrington, Emily Chang, Pete Cashmore, and Brian Benzinger, have made a name for themselves simply by keeping the rest of us informed (thanks) of developments in the space. More importantly, perhaps, is that large organizations [cough…MSFT] with billions of dollars are rushing to “embrace and extend” [cough, cough…CASH IN ON] the change. It goes without saying that the current environment is – to say the least – dynamic.

Amid the mounting chaos, however, structure is emerging. Web services, structured blogging, tagging, deep web search, microformats, edge readers, syndication, and even Microsoft Clipboard are all harbingers of something much bigger. Unstructured data is quickly becoming a thing of the past as the old web gives way to something new. For those of you that have been working in the Semantic Web space, your spidey-sense is probably tingling like mad. Why? Because you see what is happening.

The Web 2.0 movement is setting the stage for a paradigm shift that will undoubtedly alter the course of human history – the birth of the Semantic Web.

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