I'm a fan of Web 3.0. Perhaps obsessed is a more accurate description.
Web 1.0 is the Web of documents. Web 2.0 is the social and user content Web. Web 3.0 is the point at which the Web itself understands that content and social interaction. Some call it the semantic Web, and some call it the Web of data, but regardless of naming conventions, it's going to mess up a hell of a lot of business models, and create some fascinating new business and public-benefit opportunities. And it'll transform reputation management too.
If you think 'atoms of influence' trickle far and wide courtesy of human expressions and understanding with social media acting as loyal conduit, just wait until machines understand these contributions too.
The PR Semantic Web Workshop
The genesis for the workshop this week was described in my February blog post "PR and Web 3.0… a call to action". To cut to the quick, when data is added to content to describe its meaning, it needs to refer to a vocabulary (or an "ontology" if you want to be posh about it) in order to be widely understood and reusable. There are an increasing number of public vocabularies extant today, but none we can find relating to PR and marketing processes, nor one to help social media participants describe their feelings. And if the expression and communication of feelings isn't core to reputation management I don't know what is.
The two-day workshop this week aimed to provide an indepth perspective on the semantic Web to a bunch of interesting and interested people, more so than the overview I delivered back one evening in April. "The most exciting development in PR since the Cluetrain" is the blog post I wrote then, and the corresponding slidestack has been viewed 2,800 times since on slideshare (and is embedded below for your convenience).
Stephen Waddington (@wadds), David Phillips (@DavidGHPhillips), Will Voelcker, Jay Fretwell, Simon Huhtala, Anshul Doshi and I convened at the offices of Prime Focus in Soho to be taken throught the finer points of resource description frameworks, triple stores, sparql, and semantic browsers by Talis' Keith Alexander.
We identified four ontologies we're now intent on developing, openly. But first up we're prioritising the Ontology For Feelings About Things.Why? Well it's the most fun and the one we feel most confident we can get licked sooner than later.
More about our work here in future posts, but please get in touch should you wish to join us.
The PR and Web 3.0 slideshare