What happened to the small semantic web of our daily lives, our work, and our mundane concerns? The W3C and its cohort of bright allies have authored voluminous specifications and RFC's that make one's head ache.
And what has been the result of this academic pouring from the empty into the void?
Nothing; at least from the point of view of the software consuming public, nothing that we can see and feel. Perhaps the arcane world of semantic browser plug-ins, strange new database architectures, and verbal wrangling over, 'how the semantic web will cure our data ills", has overshot its target with the goal of either restructuring the entire universe of web information, or has a master plan regarding Web authoring and data schemes of the near future.
But, as of now, we get zip from the Semantic Web. I say again: What about the tiny semantic web of our daily lives? Why have these ostensible geniuses not provided us with services and tools to better organize my information, by lifting structure out of the soup of my emails, bookmarks, profiles, and interests?
Please, puhleeeeze, don't tell me that these tools already exist. I have a set of del.icio.us tags that point to a plethora of plug-ins, desktop clients, and full-blown applications that have promised to bring the benefit of the semantic-shmantic web to me. They give nada.
But, I do have an idea of what a great little semantic application would do for me, if anyone would listen. I can't say if it would define ontologies with OWL, and instantiate the triple schema in RDFS. In my world, I have real needs. And, I work with real people in technical professions (skilled service trades and the IT sector) that need real 'knowledge harvesting' solutions.
I also have a sneaking suspicion that all the tools, skills, and knowledge are assembled and right out there - currently wasting their collective time trying to create the "Large Semantic Web", while they could, if steered right, be delivering the very much needed, 'small semantic web', of our personal data.
For everyday folks, the blessing would be palpable; for people in the skilled trades and professions that must make sense of dispersed threads of knowledge,it could be a revolution. Here are my thoughts: