Provenance, Dan Conover says, can drive the adoption of semantic technologies:
Imagine a global economy in which every piece of information is linked directly to its meaning and origin. In which queries produce answers, not expensive, time-consuming evaluation tasks. Imagine a world in which reliable, intelligent information structures give everyone an equal ability to make profitable decisions, or in many cases, profitable new information products. Imagine companies that get paid for the information they generate or collect based on its value to end users, rather than on the transitory attention it generates as it passes across a screen before disappearing into oblivion.
Now imagine copyright and intellectual property laws that give us practical ways of tracing the value of original contributions and collecting and distributing marginal payments across vast scales.
That’s the Semantic Economy.
I wonder if he’s seen the W3 Provenance XG Final Report yet. Two parts are particularly relevant: the dimensions of provenance and the news aggregator scenario. Truly making provenance pay will require both Management of provenance (especially Access and Scale) and Content provenance around Attribution.
Go read the rest of what Dan Conover says about the semantic economy. Pay particular attention to the end: Dan says that he’s working on a functional spec for a Semantic Content Management System — a RDF-based middleware so easy that writers and editors will want to use it. I know you’re thinking of Drupal and of the Semantic Desktop; we’ll see how he’s differentiating: He invites further conversation.
I’m definitely going to have a closer look at his ideas: I like the way he thinks, and this isn’t the first time I’ve noticed his ideas for making Linked Data profitable.