I just came across a recent post by Nova Spivack, “The Semantic Web, Collective Intelligence and Hyperdata“, where he defines a couple of very useful words.
First the very useful concept of hyperdata:
One might respond [...] by noting that there is already a lot of data on the Web, in XML and other formats — how is the Semantic Web different from that? What is the difference between “Data on the Web” and the idea of “The Data Web?”The best answer to this question that I have heard was something that Dean Allemang said at a recent Semantic Web SIG in Palo Alto. Dean said, “Sure there is data on the Web, but it’s not actually a web of data.” The difference is that in the Semantic Web paradigm, the data can be linked to other data in other places, it’s a web of data, not just data on the Web.
I call this concept of interconnected data, “Hyperdata.” It does for data what hypertext did for text. I’m probably not the originator of this term, but I think it is a very useful term and analogy for explaining the value of the Semantic Web.
For example, take Metaweb’s Freebase. Freebase is what I call a “folktology” — it’s an emergent, community generated ontology. Users collaborate to add to the ontology and the knowledge base that is populated within it.
Nova’s Hyperdata article was written in response to Tim O’Reilly’s recent post Economist Confused about the Semantic Web. Tim correctly points out that the word Semantic is often used to cover technologies that are closer to Web2.0, data silo technologies. But to get out of the data silos, we need hyperdata which is, like the web, and contra Tim, a social/folk/community enterprise.
The original Economist article was published on August 28 2007: The web: some antics
Btw. I have some open invitations to Freebase for those who want to help edit it. It can now be browsed by anyone.