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Solution Inc.

From Shirky's latest piece of writing, regarding :

"First, take some well-known problem. Next, misconstrue it so that the hard part is made to seem trivial and the trivial part hard. Finally, congratulate yourself for solving the trivial part."

Well put. I believe this pattern still applies for a majority of so-called innovative startups' business ideas and their next big thing.

Anyway, as for the semantic web and its proposed "can solve all your problems and needs automagically" - why do so many people still fall for it?

Johnny Bravo
Friday, November 14, 2003

There's a lot of FUD around the semantic web, where claims are made from the opponents that all our systems would have to get rewritten and we'd have to use new tools and languages.

That's not necessarily true.  If you look at a group like the W3C TAG and see how they're very carefully defining those things that will allow current methods (not old, current) to provide most of the benefit of the semantic web without much of the work.

XHTML 1+, XML languages such as ATOM, etc. 

If you have a good XHTML document structure you can use XPATH on it and recieve a lot of goodness back from your documents.  That's huge.  Show me all the comments made to topics about Corn from Farmer Joe where Senator Tom also commented.

RSS is one of those languages that really blows in this respect.  It is poorly defined and isn't XML so it really hampers structure and sematics, thus a new (and surprisingly similar) language was born, ATOM.  That's more of a migration than anything from RSS to a language that does the job better and provides real benefits.

No reasonable person suggest replacing the infrastructre of the web with a new semantic strucutre; instead take advantage of the tools available and make better use of them to leverage their existing power.  There's a lot more there than most are aware of.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Is it just a coincidence? Just one thread above we have the perfect example for such a misconstruction: the trivial part is to develop the three products, the hard part to acquire money from VCs.

Friday, November 14, 2003

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