The Irish Times: Innovation
The Return of the Portal
March 10, 2008
In a perfect world, the internet would have evolved in a planned and orderly way, and that means, quite illogically, that Web 2.0 would not have followed Web 1.0.
The plan hatched by experts at the World Wide Web Consortium, the body that supervises web standards, was for the second generation to be something a little different to Bebo and Facebook, called the Semantic Web.
"It means adding more meaning to the web," says web expert John Breslin of NUI Galway, "so that people and computers can work together more easily, so that computers in fact can do more of the work."
Put simply, Web 2.0 was supposed to be the time when search engines worked perfectly. And the semantic web is the technology that allows you more of a push-button approach to information issues, so you are not overloaded, but enabled.
Today marks the launch of the first such project for the buying public - the New York launch of MutualArt.com, a global initiative to link art collectors (the buyers) with artists, museums, galleries and information sources including the leading art publications, auction house information and prices. It is the first major application of the semantic web to a consumer service.