21 Feb 2008
Everyone’s going on about the Semantic Web. It’s tipped to be the big thing in 2008. It’s all you can hear in the cafes and bars. Semantic this… NLP-that… It’s hard to get a word in edge-ways, and don’t even bother going out if all you want to talk about is simple keyword extraction. Keywords don’t tell you sh*t. (thanks Mark)
Until now, all the talk about a new age of context and meaning has been largely that, just talk. And unless you could afford big technology and million dollar license fees this stuff was way out of reach for the little guy. The arrival of two interesting new services indicates that this may now be changing quite rapidly. People are excited. They talk about it at dinner parties. It’s palpable.
The first of these is an API released by Reuters called Open Calais, proclaiming its mission to:
…make all the world’s content more accessible, interoperable and valuable. Some call it Web 2.0, Web 3.0, the semantic web or the Giant Global Graph – we call our piece of it Calais.
Can it get more exciting than this? This is *_*FREE*_* people. Free to oiks like of you and me. A
walking, talking, living semantic database of people, places, companies and events. We can make search engines better. We can automatically extract meaning from web pages. We can get browsers to bring useful related stuff to us. Sounds awesome.
Of course, we can also use this technology to make money. As in, we can get browsers to bring a load of super-relevant advertising to us and charge a premium.
And that’s where Hapax’s Amplify comes in. Again, using a Web Service model Amplify aims to deliver affordable performance marketing when it launches at the end of March. – thus allowing the smallest publisher and ad network to take advantage of a transaction-based model. Hapax CEO Mark Redgrave describes it as a “platform for meaning”. In a nutshell, Amplify makes it easy for the small guy to deliver highly contextual ads, and therefore monetise his website better. Of course, Amplify will also be very interesting for the big guys too. (btw: sorry to keep using the phrase “guys”… this will of course also work for ladies).
Anyway, must dash. I hope to come back to these two services in the future (especially when Amplify launches) and have a better look. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears on the ground for more semantic goodness. It’s everywhere.