Posts tagged ‘tagging’

Semantic appsTwine in freefall?

September 14th, 2009 by Greg Boutin
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (June 7, 2009) Military freef...

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What happened to Twine? Earlier this year, VentureBeat characterized Twine as an “early success”, based on information from ReadWriteWeb followed suit in March explaining that Twine could soon surpass In May, Techcrunch made the observation that Twine had overtaken Friendfeed in traffic. Fast Company wasn’t as fast, but in June it echoed the comments with an article labelling Twine as “red-hot”.

Twine indeed surpassed Delicious in May and June. That was shortlived, however. Since then, the same source VentureBeat used to discuss Twine’s traffic,, which Twine has endorsed a number of times, shows a huge drop in traffic. According to the traffic tracking application, Twine’s traffic would have been divided by 10 between an April peak of 2M unique visitors and the August number of just about 208,000. Quantcast, on its end, reports peaks in April and July above 500K “people”, together with a similar drop in August with 50,000 visits only. I don’t know which source is correct about the volumes, or how their definitions of unique visitors and people differ, but the trend is what matters and it is striking. Alexa, generally much less reliable, doesn’t show a huge drop, although it doesn’t show any increase either.

According to all 3 sources, Twine is now back well below Delicious and Friendfeed. Have you read anything about that? I haven’t. (more…)


Tying Web 3.0, the Semantic Web and Linked Data Together – Part 2/3: Linked Data is a Medium

May 11th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

If you’ve liked my last post, you should take a look at Kevin Kelly’s video at TED, about the first and the next 5,000 days of the Web, which a friend pointed out to me. “Smarter” is Kevin’s first tag to describe the next web, and given the timescale he chooses, it is a safe bet. In the short term, ubiquitous (Kevin’s second or third tag) is probably more likely to describe the Web.

Below, I am pursuing my exploration of the interaction between Web 3.0, the Semantic Web and Linked Data. I shared my thoughts on Web 3.0 in the previous post, so now let’s tackle the Semantic Web, and what it will take for it to really happen.

Semantic Web

What is the semantic web? Here again I’ll refer to a post I wrote not too long ago, in which I wrote this is “a web in which machines get the meaning of information and use that understanding to transform/organize/synthesize data intelligently on our behalf.” Definition varies, but overall I think we all agree that the Semantic Web is an attempt at enabling machines to better understand and transform data. This is the overarching Objective, with a big O, of the semantic web.

In a world with a working Semantic Web, I should not only be able to know without launching a full web expedition, which Chinese restaurant in a 5-mile/km radius carries Peking Duck, but also to aggregate and filter information from various subprime real estate lenders by region and map that against mortgage default rates and lenders’ pools of debt by risk level in a snap. That type of easy data transformation could help avoid a financial crisis of gigantic proportions, which, some would argue, is a handy benefit worth its weight in trillions of dollars. (more…)


Web appsTag Conversion Utility

June 30th, 2008 by Greg Boutin

In my previous post, I proposed a grand “supertag” vision reminiscent of some of the ideas of the semantic web. In fact, it is this vision that led to my first contact with the semantic web. I was wondering about the best approach to tagging and autotagging while working on an application called TagOver, and there was some crossover with semantic technologies.

Since then, I have also become further convinced that every vision should be sequenced in small stand-alone steps that each deliver a well thought-out benefit to some users. In the context of “Supertags”, I propose that this first step be a Tag Conversion agent. (more…)

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Web appsSupertagging the Web

June 29th, 2008 by Greg Boutin
old zodiac map, holland

Image by oceandesetoiles via Flickr

I have a confession to make. I am impatient. So much so that, even though computers made it into my life two decades or so, and the web, a decade or so, I am frustrated every day with the state of computing. And something in particular has been bugging me for quite a while now. For the world of me, I can’t get why we’re still using folders to organize information. Folders force me to compartmentalize information, in an exclusive, hierarchical way. Each file or, broadly speaking, piece of content, can only be in one folder at a time, unless it’s copied twice. In fact, folders are just one very constrained type of tags. Very inefficient, very paper-like, very 20th century. Tags are so much better. And for full disclosure, I’ve been working on an idea for a while. But, as I couldn’t take any talented programmer away from the yet-another mashup or facebook app they were working on at that time, I am presenting an extended concept here, with three hopes: that it highlights some of the benefits I expect from the semantic web or from the future forms of tagging, that it guides entrepreneurs to develop new value propositions based on those early adopter needs, and lastly, maybe, that a talented programmer realizes the potential and contacts me to assess a partnership. (more…)

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