Wikidata Excites Closing Panel at 2012 Semantic Tech Conference #semtech
Core ideas about a more structured Internet, vis a vis the semantic Web, are quickly approaching mainstream consciousness.

When Wikipedia, the sixth most popular Web site in the world, debuts its Wikidata platform later this year, it will be a major step in this direction. 

"Wikidata is going to blow everything else out of the water," Joe Devon of Startup Devs said during the closing panel of the 2012 Semantic Technology & Business Conference. Devon is also on the advisory board, but Dave McComb, who co-founded the Semtech conference, also asserted his belief in how huge Wikidata is going to be.

Enterprise Not Yet Embracing Linked Data

While Wikidata will begin to usher in the linked data era for the Internet, enterprise applications are not moving in this direction as quickly. Once structured data models begin to gain wider mainstrem acceptence, then businesses will begin to see their value, Craig Hanson of Amdocs said during the closing panel. 


Hanson's advice to businesses from his 'Practical Lessons in Developing an Enterprise Wide Semantic Application' presentation., an open source structured data standards project, is another Web-oriented service that will push wider adoption of linked data and semantic technology. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo began working on in 2011, and it's gained adoption in the last year, Google Fellow R.V. Guha said during a panel at the conference.

"We see many hundreds of thousands of sites using markup," Guha said. "A year ago if you asked if we would approach these numbers, I would have laughed."

Learning Opportunities

Best New Developmnets at Semtech 2012

In addition to giving some predictions for the semantic Web in 2012, closing panelists also gave their impressions of the best presentations and companies from the four-day conference. Gravity, a company focused on personalizing the Web for publishers, gave a presentation called 'Real Semantic Technology for the Average Consumer,' and Marie Wallace from IBM said she considered this one of the highlights of Semtech 2012. 

Additionally, Garlik, a UK-based financial services company that was bought by Experian in December 2011, gave a presentation on protecting consumers from financial fraud using semantic technology. David Booth, senior software architect at PanGenX, said he would like to see similar software brought to the healthcare industry. 

"Fraud detection in finance is great; we need that for healthcare," Booth said. 

Semtech comes to San Francisco every year, and while the 2012 version is closed, there are two more later this year in London and New York City. Registration for the Sept. 19-20 Semtech conference in London will open soon for any technologists, marketers, developers and interested parites who are in the area. Those curious about the semantic Web who want one more chance to attend a 2012 conference in the U.S. can attend the Oct. 15-17 conference in New York, and registration for that event will also open soon. 

Tell us in the comments if you've been following what Wikipedia or the W3C have been working on as far as linked data, and what you think it means for the future of online communications.