Together we can continue building a global metadata infrastructure. I am tasking you with helping. How can you do that?
For evangelists, practitioners, and consultants:
- Thanks for bringing Linked Data to where it is today! We’re counting on you for even more yummy cross-disciplinary Linked Data!
- What tools and applications are most urgently needed? Researchers and developers need to hear your use cases: please partner with them to share these needs!
- How do you and your clients choose [terms, concepts, schemas, ontologies]? What helps the most?
- Overall, what is working (and what is not)? How can we amplify what *is* working?
For Semantic Web researchers:
- Build out the trust and provenance infrastructure.
- Mature the query languages (e.g. SPARQL) [perhaps someone could say more about what this would mean?]
- Building tools and applications for end-users is really important: value this work, and get to know some real usecases and end-users!
For information scientists:
- How can we identify ‘universals’ across languages, disciplines, and cultures? Does the Colon classification help?
- What are the best practices for sharing and reusing [terms, concepts, schemas, ontologies]? What is working and what is failing with metadata registries? What are the alternatives?
For managers, project leaders, and business people:
- How do we create and justify the business case for Terminology services [like MIME types, library subject headings, New York Times Topics]?
- Please collect and share your usage data! Do we need infrastructure for sharing usage data?
- Share the economic and business successes of Linked Data!
That ends the call to action, but here’s where it comes from.
Yesterday Stuart Weibel gave a talk called “Missing Pieces in the Global Metadata Landscape” [slideshare] at InfoCom International Symposium in Tokyo. Stu asked 11 of us what those missing pieces were—with 3 questions: the conceptual issues, organizational impediments, and the most important overall issue. This last question, “What is the most important missing infrastructural link in establishing globally interoperable metadata systems?”, is my favorite, so I’ll talk about it a little further.
Stu summarizes that the infrastructure is mostly there, but that broad adoption (of standards, conventions, and common practice) is key. Overall these are the key issues he reports:
- Tools to support and encourage the reuse of terms, concepts, schemas, ontologies (e.g., metadata registries, and more)
- Widespread, cross-disciplinary adoption of a common metadata approach (Linked Data)
- Query languages for the open web (SPARQL) are not fully mature
- Trust and provenance infrastructure
- Nothing’s missing… just use RDF, Linked Data, and the open web. The key is broad adoption, and that requires better tools and applications. It’s a social problem, not a technical problem.
- The ability to identify ‘universals’ across languages, disciplines, and cultures – revive Ranganathan’s facets?
- Terminology services [like MIME types, library subject headings, New York Times Topics] have long been proposed as important services, but they are expensive to create, curate, and manage, and the economic models are weak
- Stuff that does not work is often obvious. We need usage data to see what does work, and amplify it
You may notice, now, that the “call” looks a little familiar!