Marketing Semantic Web Technologies

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… or any new technologies for that matter…

By Krista Thomas, VP Marketing for, and formerly VP Marketing for The OpenCalais Initiative, Thomson Reuters.

Below please find three helpful tips on how to get started Marketing your Semantic Web technology.


  1. Iterate: The 3rd time you will be close; the 5th time you might be right.
    • Test it on friends and family members who don’t know anything about tech & don’t care.
  2. Benefits: Talk about the problems you solve & the benefits of solving them, NOT about tech for tech’s sake.
    • “It’s more important to be interesting than it is to be intellectual.” (Suneel Gupta, Groupon)
    • Ask: do Semantic vs. semantic debates advance your cause in a practical, quantifiable fashion?
  3. Customize: Tailor your message each audience — speak to media companies differently than you do pharmaceutical Cos or Financial Services.


  1. Simplify your site: We moved to WordPress so that could iterate without distracting the Engineers.
  2. Whitepapers work: It’s the nature of this space, so leverage that. Use lots of pictures and stick to two pages — print one sheet front & back.
  3. Blogging is a pain: The return vs. effort math only works in some cases, so vet your ideas seriously, write click-bait headlines and create videos as an alternative.
    • Check out Wistia to host, share & track videos & get into search results.
  4. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter: Search, engage & voila – 2,000 people are talking SemTech out there, all around the world.  They ARE the conversation.
    • I use Hootsuite — can see a lot in one glance & assign work to colleagues.
    • Also about three other individual apps, Yoono, UberTwitter for BB, etc.
    • For groups, I hear great things about the new-ish Seesmic — which will now be integrated with & Chatter, etc.
  5. LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn: A number of groups for SemWeb. Not as rich as Twine was, but that is gone. General rule: you get back what you put in.
  6. Facebook but also StumbleUpon:
    • Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz said @ Twiistup in LA that for some sites he is seeing more incoming traffic from StumbleUpon than from Facebook.
  7. Slideshare but also Scribd.
  8. Quora but also Focus.
  9. PR: There are a handful of analysts and reporters that cover the Semantic Web space, so get to know them personally and work closely to develop the kinds of stories their readers want and need. Be willing to contribute bylined articles to help shoulder the work, and remember that often times your customer says it far better than you can.
  10. Developer contests can work wonders. Devil is in the details, so just think them through carefully and be really clear on goals.


  1. SemTech: The annual confab is the best way to meet your peers from around the world – finally getting face the folks you are chatting with on Twitter – and to find & form new alliances.  Just heard about the new smaller sessions, which will probably offer a pretty rich experience as well as regional focus.
  2. Meetups: Jump into the SemWeb Meetups and others centered around developers — both independent and enterprise.
  3. SD Forum, Silicon Valley: There are Software Developer groups everywhere – look around and you may well find your natural advocates beta testers and even customers.

3.5.) EXTRA CREDIT (if you have cash)

  1. Targeting Advertising: Specialty publications that target developers and the tech community can help. Our affordable “Robots Can Read!” campaign on ReadWriteWeb was a good introduction for OpenCalais in year one.
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