Saturday, October 20, 2007

Forget platforms (already?) - data is hot!

In the panel on "The semantic web (semantic=there is meaning in the data)" at the Web 2.0 Summit, the speakers, including legendary Danny Hillis, presented some new services that can organize information from a semantic perspective. The service I was most impressed with was twine. It can provide you with a unified view of "everything you know". Nova Spivack, the founder, showed the service for the first time today I am sure we will hear more about it.

The semantic web is sometimes referred to as Web 3.0. The web is the platform where all the valuable data is embedded. You just have to extract it in a smart way. An example would be Google PagerRanks which extracts its meaning from the links on the web. More on the subject in this podcast with Nova Spivack.

In a really thought provoking article, Scott Karp discusses the idea of data: "Forget Platforms And Applications, Data Is The Real Asset On the Web" .

"Applications — the front end technology — are no longer the core business asset, at least not in the long term. It’s way too easy for anyone to clone anyone else’s application.

And that means applications built on another service’s platform aren’t the real asset either — it’s too easy to reproduce. Just watch MySpace’s platform catch up with Facebook’s platform.
So what is the business asset? The users — and their data. The “social graph” is what drives value for users on Facebook. They have all their data on Facebook. Their friends have all their data on Facebook. That’s it. Done. The users are happy. They’re locked in, but they DON’T CARE.

Facebook isn’t building its business around apps — it’s building it around data — by making that data hugely valuable to advertisers.

The most successful companies on the web are those that created a virtuous cycle between their users and their database, where the more data users put in, the more value they get out. That’s the essence of Web 2.0. Data has limited value locally, or walled off on a single site".

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