Last week I was at the Semantic tech conference in San Jose. It was an exciting event that exceeded my expectations in many ways. First of all, the conference had a really great vibe. People from different parts of the planet converged to talk about their work and passion - Semantic Web.
From the conversations during lunch to keynotes there was a fluid exchange of intelligent ideas; people genuinely interested in the space and focusing on understanding how semantic technologies benefit us today and where they are headed. There was a consensus that many technologies are nearly ready or ready for prime time and that 2008 is the first year when semantic web is coming out of the stealth mode.
To get a flavor of the conversations and topics covered during this conference, I suggest that you review the 4 posts that I’ve written on ReadWriteWeb:
- Taking Semantic Technology to the Masses
- Investor Opportunities and Pitfalls
- The Story of SearchMonkey
- Freebase: An overview
In addition to these 4 posts, I’ve also written a post on Semantic Search. I highly recommend this post to you as well, it is a result of a lot struggle to crystallize in my mind what is going on in that space.
Finally, as with any great conference, it was a pleasure to meet up people that you work with remotely. I had a great pleasure of talking to Paul Miller, Tom Tague and Greg Boutin from Semantic Web Gang. We’ve done several podcasts together and it was great to see people behind voices and avatars :)
I also had an opportunity to speak on the Rising Stars of Semantic Web panel along with Barney Pell, CEO/CTO Powerset, Nova Spivack CEO of Radar Networks, Ian David CTO of Talis and Tom Grueber from stealth company. Both during the panel and the press conference that followed up, I kept on thinking about incredible amount of energy and brain power and enthusiasm that these folks bring to the space. In my book passion is the #1 recipe for success, so I was excited about the prospects of the space at large and what each of these individual companies is going to contribute.
For additional coverage of the conference, please see excellent round up by Daniela Barbosa.