The second event on semantic web hosted by SDForum’s EMTECH SIG again attracted a room-full of audience thirsty for another dose of semantic web technologies. Tim Redmond from Protege group presented the popular ontology tool – Protege as an application platform, on which you can develop all sorts of ontology-powered smart applications. Jeff Pollock from Oracle then compared ontology and folksonomy in the context of semantic web and web2.0. I thought his view was fair – the two things exists for different things. Rather than playing one vs. the other, one should focus on the strength of each technology, using the one best suited for your intended applications. For example, ontology finds good use in web-scale sharing of data by the R&D community while folksonomy (e.g. tags) is being used by many social network web sites.
There are plenty of debates recently on ontology and folksonomy. Tim Berners-Lee and colleagues describe web semantics quite clearly in their first web science book - “A Framework for Web Science”. Tom Gruber’s ISWC2006 talk highlighted folksonomy and its role in social networks (watch the video).
Semantic Web, ontology, folksonomy