Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The State of the Market in Semantic Technologies


  • Semantic data mgmt
  • Semantic data generation
  • Databases
  • Integration and workflow

Tague said that tools are important, particularly in the enterprise.
He sounded a note of caution to tools vendors: they need to simplify
their stories, along with have "simple basic tools."


  • Semantics-powered link sharing
  • Network mining
  • News sharing
  • Tweet mining

Tague said that we shouldn't focus on providing "frosting" on top of
current social Web tools. He advised to focus on commercial
imperatives, such as the categories above.


  • Semantic ad placement
  • Contextual ad placement
  • Semantically driven landing pages
  • Mashup ads

There are clearly opportunities to improve advertising using semantic technology, said Tague.


Tague noted that semantic search may be "the answer to the question
nobody is asking." He said that we should look at general "semantic
search" vs domain specific semantically-enhanced search. The latter is
where the commercial opportunity actually is, but he questioned the
economics of general semantic search.


He put this into 3 sub-categories:

  • A-Content Producers - from back office to user experience
  • B-Editorial + Aggregation Publishing Models
  • C-Robotic publishing - aggregation only

Tague explained that Calais has really focused on this over the last
8-9 months. He said that classic publishers can get an enormous amount
of value from this. Right now the big focus is "back in the bolier
room," for example to cut editors from 3 to 2. He expects that later on
more focus will go on enhancing the user experience.

Tague thinks that B is the biggest opportunity, using Huffington
Post as an example. He said that it gives a "near newspaper like
experience" at perhaps a 5th of the cost. It's an area where they're
seeing adoption of Calais.


Tague noted that gaming is a huge industry that the semantic technology industry can learn from. He listed these attributes:

  • Great story line
  • High interactivity, immediate responsiveness
  • No interuptions
  • Graphically engaging
  • Seamless
  • Fun

So he asked who out there is trying to really change the user
experience in semantic technology? He listed 4 companies (all of whom
we've profiled on ReadWriteWeb):

  • Zemanta
  • Apture
  • Feedly
  • Glue

Tague told the audience that the next big innovation in interface
will be something that stays with the user where they are, which will
be mobile and in the browser.

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