The Semantic Web’s Role in News and Social Media

A new article highlighting interviews with Evan Sandhaus, the lead architect for semantic platforms at the New York Times, and Jeff Catlin, CEO of Lexalytics, takes a look at the effect of the semantic web on news and social media.

First examining news media, the article comments that “while webpages are formatted for humans to easily read them, machines can’t easily determine the underlying meaning of content on a page if it doesn’t follow a consistent structure.” This is where semantic technologies step in, but there is a pressing need for standards within the semantic web, which is why “as of October 2010, The Times, in collaboration with the International Press Telecommunications Council, is working on creating a standard within the publishing industry to express structural metadata within HTML — this framework is called rNews.”

On the social side of things, the article states, “While semantics is having a clear affect on social media monitoring, Catlin feels that it will also soon play a role in social search from a user’s perspective. Search engines and search features within social sites will have to integrate semantic technologies to stay relevant, says Catlin.”

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ Robert Scoble