Christian Long

Tim Berners-Lee: The Next Web

In TED Talks on May 1, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Reflection by BRENDON O.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Tim Berners-Lee:  The  Next Web

Tim Berners-Lee practically “invented” the World Wide Web, and leads the World Wide Web Consortium which oversees the Web’s development and standards.

Just think about his creation. Google. Wikipedia. Youtube. Facebook. All of these sites are a part of his Web.

It connected documents, video, analyses et cetera to a degree that had never before been seen on a wide-scale. Without the Web today, many of us would be lost. We use it for everything: schedules, homework, information and the like.

His next idea is “linked data” which connects pure, raw data as never seen before. Currently, the Web is just a collection of documents which refer to data, but yet the data is not available. The Web just talks about the data that people are looking for. He calls for everyone to put their data out on the Web and create relationships that everyone can use and benefit from.

Why?

These days, people like to hoard their data, coming up with excuses not to share it. Knowledge is locked away where no one else can use it. Important information that could bring eye opening revelations in the hands of another is just stuck on some guy’s computer for his use and his use only. In everyday life, we make conclusions and decisions using data. Wouldn’t it be better if data could be freely accessed, so we can collaborate on ideas using the raw data?

This whole time we have been talking about data, but what is data?

Data is everything; it is relationships. Government surveys, company reports, biographies, schedules of events, and the list goes on. These are sources of immense knowledge, which cannot be openly accessed for use.

Although, what is the point of publishing data?

Time Berners-Lee talks about a couple of projects that utilized the linked data concept. The result: an increased number of results per search query. They found pertinent information using linked data, which even Google could not find. Not even Google could find the information that the user was searching for. This information can be used for amazing things. Just think of the possibilities, if all the data in the world was linked using this concept.

Linked data has a lot of potential, just as the Web did. If it is ever put to use, it will be a new powerful tool that will be used by all since he plans on merging this concept of linked data into the Web using http codes. Everything will be connected and put into context in a useful, practical way that everyone will be able to utilize.

This is the next Web.

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