Prep for Questions about Semantic Web

Loraine Lawson

Brace yourself, CIOs and sundry other techies: Semantic Web, a.k.a. Web 3.0, just hit the mainstream media.

And, no doubt, those footsteps you'll soon hear will be the CEO coming to ask how this Semantic Web-thing can work for your organization.

Of course, the concept of the Semantic Web isn't new. Heck, Tim Berners-Lee has been touting it since at least 2001. But this week, it headlined in Business Week's CEO's Technology Guide, which means we'll be hearing A LOT more about it in both the regular and trade press.

Actually, the package is worth reading. It gives a good overview of Semantic Web and its likely impact, and manages to take a well-placed dig at Web 2.0 in the process. There's also a Q&A with Berners-Lee, who is, no doubt, thrilled to be tagged the "grandfather" of the Semantic Web.

While the package explains that the Semantic Web isn't quite ready for prime time, it's also filled with enough statistics and name-dropping to tantalize any CEO. For instance, the main article notes that the "market for the broader family of products and services that encompasses the Semantic Web could surge to more than $50 billion in 2010 from $2.2 billion in 2006." That figure's courtesy a 2006 report by Mills Davis, founder of the consulting firm Project10X. And it gets a credibility boost from the list of heavy-hitters already developing Semantic tools, including Adobe, Google, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard.

The article then adds, almost as a sidenote, that other experts anticipate the market's growth will be much slower.

Of course, regular readers of IT Business Edge are already familiar with the business value of Semantic Web. But if you want to brush up before the CEO comes knocking, here are some pieces you should review:

Good luck.

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