I've been interested in understanding what the future of the Internet will look like for sometime. The current term for it is Web 3.0. Once element of Web 3.0 will be a better architecture for the Internet called the Semantic Web.
The Semantic web movement is all about making it easy for software agents to find, share and integrate information more easily. This is a complex job as there there has been a huge increase in non-structured data (blogs, wikis, videos, podcasts, and other web 2.0 tools). The idea is to create conceptual relationships between things found on the Internet.
In a recent article on ReadWrite Web, the author provided a list of the top semantic products of 2008.
- Yahoo! SearchMonkey. SearchMonkey allows developers to build applications on top of Yahoo! search, including allowing site owners to share structured data with Yahoo!, using semantic markup, standardized XML feeds, APIs, and page extraction.
- Powerset (acquired by Microsoft in '08) Powerset is a natural language search engine.
- Open Calais. Calais is a toolkit of products that enable users to incorporate semantic functionality within their blog, content management system, website or application.
- Dapper MashupAds. Dapper MashupAds delivers ads based on the content of a webpage. For example, web publishers tell Dapper the place on their web page where the title of a movie will appear, and Dapper delivers a banner ad that's related to whatever movie this page happens to be about.
- Hakia. Hakia is a search engine focusing on natural language processing methods to try and deliver 'meaningful' search results. Hakia attempts to analyze the concept of a search query, in particular by doing sentence analysis.
- Tripit. Tripit is an app that manages your travel planning. With TripIt, you forward incoming bookings to firstname.lastname@example.org and the system manages the rest.
- BooRah. BooRah, a restaurant review site, can recognize praise and criticism in reviews and then rate restaurants accordingly.
- BlueOrganizer (AdaptiveBlue). BlueOrganizer gives you added information about webpages you visit and offers useful links based on the subject matter. A new product, called Glue. connects you to your friends based around things like books, music, movies, stars, artists, stocks, wine, restaurants, and more.
- Zemanta. Zemanta is a blogging tool which harnesses semantic technologies to add relevant content to your posts. Users can now incorporate their own social networks, RSS feeds, and photos into their blog posts.
- UpTake. Semantic search startup UpTake (formerly Kango) aims to make the process of booking travel online easier. UpTake is a vertical search engine that has assembled what it says is the largest database of US hotels and activities – over 400,000 of them – from more than 1,000 different travel sites.
As semantic technology adoption takes off, expect search engines to become much more effective than they are now. Users will find the precise information they are looking for and in much faster time than today. This could have a huge impact as mobile search begins to take off.