Links ARE meaning

This is a great TED talk from Tim Berners-Lee who created the internet. Here he talks about Linked Data and the importance of sharing and linking data.

Just as with his first break-through, the hyperlink, he realises that its the links that make things useful. To take this on step further the linking is how we embed mean into web documents. The same applied with data. Data by itself is not as useful as data linked to other data and this linkage is meaningful.

Linking was only half the story and Tim doesn’t talk about the importance of standardising the data format, which by the way he also underestimated with HTML and why web developers have had a nightmare with different web browsers interpretation of HTML. Data formats is the less exciting half of the equation but is going to be just as critical. Especially with numbers like dates, currencies, measurements (and their metrics) etc. I’m thinking (hoping, praying) that we’ve learnt our leasons from HTML and people know when and how to draw up a standard for data formats before this thing explodes.

Forgotten Visions of the Web

I’ve been inspired by a great lecture, The Web that Wasn’t by Alex Wright, which traces the history of precursor ideas and thinking that ether lead to the web or where ideas much greater than the Internet is right now.

Here are some of the ideas that were missed out on and I believe are sill possible with internet technology today: Continue reading “Forgotten Visions of the Web”