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I agree with a lot of what you say, in particular that recognition by Google and the other search engines is significant. But I must take issue with one key point: the Semantic Web has never been top-down, and is certainly not about a global ontology. The RDF model that's the basis for Semantic Web technologies is based around two simple ideas: 1. you can identify anything with a URI (a person, a product, a concept), not just Web pages 2. a Web link can specify the relationship between two things with URIs, i.e. going a step further than typical links between pages (which you could interpret as meaning "somehow related") The rest of the technologies are about how to make use of these ideas. It's primarily bottom-up, by design, just like the Web. It's no coincidence that the inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has been one of the leading lights around Semantic Web development. It's essentially the same Web. Anyone can create their own vocabulary/ontology, and there are hundreds, if not thousands around. Ok, it's considered good practice to reuse existing terms, but that's not mandated anywhere. The data itself can be (and is being) created by anyone, for guidance on how to check You say "we'll have tapped into the same emergent property that generated Wikipedia" - well that specifically has already been tapped into, see There have been recent developments around expressing data in HTML: microformats, RDFa and HTML5 microdata (which can all be interpreted as RDF), and it's those that Google and co. are mostly keying off. But the basic ideas haven't changed. Finally, you're absolutely right to say "It's not that complex. It doesn't require any exotic programs.".
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Apr 17, 2012