The mainstream adoption of Web 2.0 technologies – from RSS feeds to social networks – is hastening the demise of the portal. With each new face on Facebook, and each new Twitter account, our once routine habits and traffic patterns shift. This wave of change in the way we consume, transact and interact on the Web is dis-intermediating 'destination' sites of all kinds. Our once centralized content has been atomized. And yet our fundamental problem persists. We're overwhelmed with input, yet still can't find the one thing we need. . . now.
Semantic technologies – and the content interoperability and Linked Data connections they beget – offer new hope. That is not to say the answer lies in building new search engines, and few would argue for another news aggregator. Rather, our point of inflection lies at the point of consumption. Our task is to simultaneously refine and enrich our digital experience of everything from content and community to commerce.
Thomas ("Tom") Tague spent the past year meeting with developers and entrepreneurs that are tackling these challenges. In our opening keynote, he shares insights and impressions from OpenCalais' first year out the door, including areas of progress and areas that require more focus, inter-disciplinary collaboration and cooperation across the industry.