Tom Tague – Thomson Reuters – Next up? The linked content economy.
In 2008, Thomson Reuters made a decision to give away the Open Calais software. Its a new experience to give something away. There was a rush of ideas, some fascinating people dove in. Interesting 48 hours after article on Slash Dot – bought servers on the fly to stay online. Resulted in a huge user base, 30,000 registered users and 5 million transactions daily. 90% of users pay nothing – no pornography or hate speech – paying customers for huge transactions. Open Calais is semantic plumbing. Not really competing with anyone, so people talk to them about new and creative ways of using the product.
Patterns have emerged – naïve users just tag individual documents. Sophisticated users looked at collections of documents and how they could link. First sophisticated user and project was Powerhouse Museum. Resource deprived plus passion equals interesting things!
Looked at ways to take those learning activities, distilling them and sharing them outside their domain. Web 3.0 when we clean up the mess and organise the experience that was created by Web 2.0 (Tom’s definition).
There is value in semantically tagging content that has a short shelf life – eg. Tweets, blog posts, news articles. However, when gathered together, aggregated into a subject area over a period of time, it has even more value.
Invest 10 minutes in next week – check the Linked Data standard on wikipedia. Use is growing faster than you can imagine.
Live demo site viewer. – http://www.opencalais.com
Some great work is being done – Powerhouse Museum is using it to automatically generate tags for items in its collection; Mediacloud, an open research tool making it easier for users to explore trends in media oreage, blog posts and more; Documentcloud, a unique online resource that will offer public access to reporters’ original source materials, and facilitates the discovery of hidden connections.
What about collection? Getting closer to the iPod moment, where the technology takes the back seat to using it and getting things out of it. Searching ‘big content’ will just work. Mega-scale interoperability is on the horizon.
Providing you and your users with the ability to creatively mine your collections and offer new content mash-ups to your users; the ability to integrate relevant social media and real-time web resources into your collection; intuitive, web 3.0 interfaces that take the burden off both you and your users.
You are part of the linked content revolution. We need your help, we need to enlist your knowledge experience and expertise, commitment to truth trust authority and access, keen understanding of users needs.
Build a tool, share it – link something to the public take the first step, don’t just think end users – think back office, build domain/technology partnerships. Expose your stuff and see what your users can do with it.