TalkDigger and the Semantic Web

First, what is the “semantic web“? For my purposes here I will describe it as “humanizing” the web. It stands to relate information on the internet in such a way as related articles/music/video or anything else can be found easily. It will also aggregate in a way that will make it easier to ask a question of a search engine in plain English and get a proper response.

As searches go now, one primarily gets vague results based on words in an article or description. The semantic web seeks to simplify searches and bring them together more cohesively. Here is a good description pulled from Wikipedia:

Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for “car”, to reserve a library book, or to search for the cheapest DVD and buy it. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedium involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.

In short, the semantic web is mostly a vision (that is being evolved) to allow computers to search information more accurately and without as much or any evaluation by humans. It is a web for computers.

Recently, I came across a site, TalkDigger, while doing a vanity search on Google. I was concerned that the posts from my blog were being reproduced without permission or attribution, so I emailed the creator/owner, Frederick Giasson.

After emailing Mr. Giasson and chatting via email, he helped me understand how TalkDigger works and I figured out that I was an idiot like the congressman that said the internet is a “series of tubes”. Thankfully, Fred was very nice and helped educate me about his projects and their uses.

In case you are wondering, TalkDigger is a “semantic search engine” for the web. It is still in the early stages of its life, but looks very promising and useful.

THANK YOU, Fred, for educating me and turning me on to the semantic web!

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