The Semantic Web just hit the big time

Ever since I got involved in the Semantic Web, people have been asking when the world will start using it. Apparently quite a few have been asking that question for over a decade prior. Well folks, wait no longer.

Facebook, arguably the #1 site in the world, is powered by the Semantic Web.

For the past year, Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol has been my favorite API. Even without talking to Facebook, you can leverage OGP by pinging the large number of sites tagging themselves for the sake of Facebook.

At this year’s F8, the annual Facebook event, OGP just grew by leaps and bounds. Facebook needed to gather about a year’s worth of data to enable some of what they’re doing now.

But with the latest changes, Facebook is poised to challenge Google with a search engine of their own. Give them a year or two of data with the new and improved OGP, and you have a powerful semantic search engine.

Exciting times my friends.

3 responses to “The Semantic Web just hit the big time

  1. Nice post. I wish you would elaborate on a number of points. For instance, could you explain this further: “you can leverage OGP by pinging the large number of sites tagging themselves for the sake of Facebook”.

  2. Sure…what I’m saying is that because of the power of Facebook’s pull, sites all over the web are tagging their content in a consistent manner. So if you write code to understand OGP, you can do all sorts of things.

    For example, compare reality shows.

    Here’s Facebook’s linter for AmericanIdol.com and TheVoice homepages:

    https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/og/object?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanidol.com%2F

    https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/og/object?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbc.com%2Fthe-voice%2F

    Now let’s say you want to find out more info on a video playlist…try this:

    https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/og/object?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanidol.com%2Fvideos%2Fseason_10%2Fbehind_the_scenes%2F

    And if you want to find general data about a URL, Facebook let’s you ping urls to find out how many likes it has. Don’t have the link offhand, but shouldn’t be hard to find.

    There is a ton of flexibility here and I’m sure many of you can imagine all kinds of ways to use this data to benefit you in the field you’re in.

  3. I never looked at it liked that- to your point the lure to conform to Facebook’s namespace is fostering a standard that translates across the open web. very kool- thanks! exciting times indeed…

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