Yahoo Goes Semantic

March 13, 2008

Yahoo has embraced the Semantic Web. Yahoo’s Web log stated:

In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing more detailed specifications that will describe our support of semantic web standards. Initially, we plan to support a number of microformats, including hCard, hCalendar, hReview, hAtom, and XFN. Yahoo! Search will work with the web community to evolve the vocabulary framework for embedding structured data. For starters, we plan to support vocabulary components from Dublin Core, Creative Commons, FOAF, GeoRSS, MediaRSS, and others based on feedback. And, we will support RDFa and eRDF markup to embed these into existing HTML pages. Finally, we are announcing support for the OpenSearch specification, with extensions for structured queries to deep web data sources.

Interesting, but maybe these two lads knew something I didn’t. What’s interesting about this announcement is that Google’s Programmable Search Engine, disclosed in a series of patent applications in February 2007, strikes me as a more sophisticated, well-conceived approach. But Google has kept its semantic technology under wraps.

Amazon, like Yahoo, has moved more quickly than Google. Jeff Bezos has
deployed cloud computing, introduced storage, and a hosted data management service. Google has these technologies and disclosed each in patent applications.
The question for me is, “Is Google content to let Amazon and Yahoo operate like lab experiments?”

Google doesn’t answer my email, so I can’t provide any insight based on information from the Googleplex. Google’s professionals are a heck of a lot more intelligent than I am. Google is hanging back, allowing two of its rivals to push forward in areas where Google has a core competency.

I find this puzzling. Do you?

Stephen Arnold, March 13, 2008


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