SKOS as a Key Element in Enterprise Linked Data Strategies

The challenges in implementing linked data technologies in enterprises are not limited to technical issues only. Projects like these deal also with organisational hurdles to be crossed, for instance the development of employee skills in the area of knowledge modelling and the implementation of a linked data strategy which foresees a cost-effective and sustainable infrastructure of high-quality and linked knowledge graphs. SKOS is able to play a key role in enterprise linked data strategies due to its relative simplicity in parallel with its ability to be mapped and extended by other controlled vocabularies, ontologies, entity extraction services and linked open data.

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Open Data for Enterprises

I gave a short talk at yesterday´s “Open Governemt Data BusinessDay” in Vienna. I was talking about “Open Data for Enterprises” pointing out the different needs enterprises have than typical “app-makers”.

Open data is obviously socio-politically relevant and helps to reduce administrative costs. It is kind of an infrastructure which is „invisible“ for the business community. But to make it attractive for enterprises, open/external data obviously should be integrable with internal databases. Are linked data and open semantic web standards the solution for this challenge?

My first experiences with Twine

Today finally I logged in to Twine the first time. I was reading yesterday about some shortcomings of the system, so I was keen on trying out the system by myself to get my own impression.

It´s true that the system isn´t as easy to understand as del.icio.us or other bookmarking tools. It takes a while until you get used to all those additional ways you can navigate through the system. Remember: “Twine looks at content and parses it automatically for the names of people, places, organizations and other subject tags. Users are then able to navigate between related content, view recommended content and connect with recommended people with related interests.” – But the “shortcoming” mentioned by Marshall Kirkpatrick that “… it’s hard to keep track of all the levels and types of information available” I can´t agree with: This has only to do with a general problem, which arises whenever semantic technologies should enhance the user experience. Either you stay with “simple” user-interfaces like Google or del.icio.us or you spend 5 minutes or so to learn a new piece of software which will help you to save time in the future and which helps you to find related information automatically.
On the other hand I was very surprised, that the automatic recommendations Twine makes on how to annotate or describe a new resource is really unsatisfying. Users will only spend time to tag their bookmarks if the machine comes up with some intelligent suggestions. And it´s true, as Marshall says, “most of the web is made up of ugly, non-standard pages.”

So hopefully Twine will add that feature before it will open up to the public (isn´t there a plan to integrate OpenCalais or something similar?), otherwise there will be no “first mainstream semantic web application” but only another prototype of a yet another semweb-app.

Navigating Wikipedia with a little help from a visualisation

One more reason to buy an Apple is Pathway: This program helps to navigate through Wikipedia in a bit more structured way. It visualises pathways through wikipedia and proposes interesting links to other wiki pages. After a while navigating through wikipedia users normally find themselves “totally lost in myriads of loosely related pages. What I needed, was an application that could easily archive the path I follow through Wikipedia pages”, says the author of Pathway.

Thanks to Thomas Fundneider for pointing that out!