The World Wide Web started in 1990 as a Web of Documents – static pages that shared information, with links to additional information, all on pages that were essentially documents.
The man who built that first website was Tim Berners-Lee, then a fellow at CERN. As you can see in the link, it’s a static page that tells the story of the start of the web, with links to additional pages with more information.
In 1999, Berners-Lee said this in his book Weaving the Web (written with Mark Fischetti):
I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The ‘intelligent agents’ people have touted for ages will finally materialize.
The semantic web.
The semantic web is about sharing data, and weaving that data together in ways that make the combined data more powerful that just the sum of its parts. In other words, the semantic web is the internet we’re using today.
Why should you, or your team, or your company, care about the semantic web? Because the semantic web is how you can aggregate your data with other data to create new business models, new information products and services, new revenue channels.
If your company uses the web as a brochure, you’re partying like it’s 1999, when Berners-Lee envisioned the data-sharing web that exists today. Understanding how to use the semantic web includes everything from search engine optimization (which changes frequently due to search engine algorithm tweaking), to content creation, to database management, to interaction and intuitive response.
“There’s an app for that” would not have been possible without the rise of the semantic web, which is data- and application-driven.
Yes, we’ve gone all “thinky” this week, but it’s thinky-ness with a purpose. You need to understand how the semantic web works in order to take full advantage of a presence on the internet for your company and/or your career.
If you’re in the web development business, we can help you keep your skills sharp. Take a look at our training calendar, and get yourself and your team up to speed on the latest in web technology.
If you need a better semantic web presence for your company, we can help with that, too.
It’s all about the data … and how you share it on the semantic web.