if you’re into the whole semantic web thing, but are a little concerned that you won’t be able to hold your own at the next big, geeky cocktail party, then you might want to check out a couple of recent, non-technical overviews.

The Semantic Web:

” Semantic Web researchers, in contrast, accept that paradoxes and unanswerable questions are a price that must be paid to achieve versatility. We make the language for the rules as expressive as needed to allow the Web to reason as widely as desired. This philosophy is similar to that of the conventional Web: early in the Web’s development, detractors pointed out that it could never be a well-organized library; without a central database and tree structure, one would never be sure of finding everything. They were right. But the expressive power of the system made vast amounts of information available, and search engines (which would have seemed quite impractical a decade ago) now produce remarkably complete indices of a lot of the material out there. The challenge of the Semantic Web, therefore, is to provide a language that expresses both data and rules for reasoning about the data and that allows rules from any existing knowledge-representation system to be exported onto the Web.”

The Semantic Web In Depth:

“Recently, the phrase Semantic Web has been popping up more and more. Unfortunately, there are no really good non-technical explanations of what it is. This is a first draft attempt at breaking the Semantic Web down into it’s component parts and describing each in summary. Be forewarned that the explanation is detailed and covers many of the facets of the Semantic Web.”

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