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"Semantic" web and future visions for the web as a free for all

5:23 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I hope this is the right forum.

I read an article talking about web "3.0" turning web sites into web services. Between the article and the numerous comments, it seems that many folks think that content on the internet is public domain, to be scraped, aggregated and mashed up into whatever they want,with no regard for content creators, copyright, ownership or intended use.

I understand the idea of web services for B2B use, RSS feeds and what not, but to think of the web as a giant database of information to be used as one pleases doesn't strike me as a good thing for content creators and those who make money for their content creating efforts.

I'm new to the content side of the web, being more of a programmer. But I have been taking steps to information side. If the web is going to be one giant aggregate database, will there be any ad revenue? I was starting to think that web supports itself through ad revenue. And if there is no revenue, will people continue to create useful and entertaining content? Will there be a point?

Here is the link to the article I read:
I would love to here some opinion, or maybe I misunderstand the article.

5:44 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Many folks who missed Web/1.0 also missed out on an important point: The monetization of the Web is a relatively new thing. Previously, the Web was indeed an information repository, free for use --but not necessarily copying or scraping-- by all.

For another perspective, either take a continuing education class or adopt a hobby that interests you. Now use the Web to find information on your new-found interest. You may still find that the best Web sites for this pursuit are the ones that are "works of love," rather than those driven by the pursuit of profit. And you may also find that the content on those sites is of much higher quality than that found on commercial sites, since it was written by people with a genuine knowledge and interest in (or even devotion to) the subject -- not hammered out as "just another task to get done to draw spiders and visitors."

I'm not judging the commercial Web or trying to say that the non-commercial side is somehow "better" -- Far from it. I'm just pointing out that there are two sides to the Web, and that they can and will co-exist.


7:02 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thats a good point. I'm venturing in to the content side as I realize I have some things to contribute that may be better than what is out there in my area of expertise. It's just the thought of making a little money being involved in something I enjoy.

And in a way it makes sense. You bring the information and merchants together. Decent ad placement doesn't force people to do anything. Anyone can glaze over ads they want to. It really seems like an ideal setup for people who can create good content. It's just the good content takes time, and to make some money for the effort makes it that much more worthwhile.

I just wonder if it's worth the time invested after reading that article.

8:31 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I dont really agree with the article. The sites creating API are the ones that want their content to be shared, for thier own benefit, albeit in a more controled way than scraping.

If you dont want your content shared or aggreated FOC then you password protect it and only allow paid subscribers. Good online content earns authors good money, you just have to choose the right revenue model for your content.

12:22 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Plus this is a time of change. Indeed new ways of expression will come, people will sooner or later (is being done right now) raise the bar and content will never lose its value. Anyone can grab a guitar and rock, only a few make good money from it, and is not definitely cuz theyre better artist. The web is just a baby, yet is a blast for many who cant adopt change and those who express freely and make money from at the real artists of these times. I know and hope there will be more free content, cuz is proven to be what people really want, at the same time, I expect there to be a better demand for, and better artists out there, expressing and portraying our reality on time. Man dat was long!
7:34 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I second the idea that original content will still be what the web is about. (heh. I just mashuped up the ideas the posts above! Oh yea..time to backlink in. I'm soooo web 3.0. lol)

Kidding aside...
I would say your worries would be more founded if the "web page content as a DB" concept was based on a web that was a static/fixed size (ie: no more new original "meaningful" pages that wasn't just rehashed from some API or scraper).

The web still grows like everyday, no? So, no matter how much of the new stuff is just rehashed "old stuff"... there will always be brand spankin new stuff (meaningful content) made by someone without a thought of "getting it" from somewhere else (via RSS, API or buddy list et al).

And don't forget, no matter how many times you remake, distribute or copy content... its still comes from true original content (I still know when a video came was pasted in from YouTube, right?) or an RSS feed article came from the NYTimes. So, all roads (ok...most) will still (eventually) lead back to the "real" content (at least that's the idea).

Even so, bread crumbs notwithstanding...
That still doesn't stop the fact most of the best stuff, will likely be "new" stuff (not reused stuff). At least that is my assertion.

I mean, if the "Numa Numa" kid didn't video tape himself lip syncing we never would have gotten all the remakes and have them linked into every corner of the web. But it still took him doing it in the first place. And I still think the original version was the funniest. The distribution didn't make any of the blogs or whatever I saw it on any better or worse in my mind...but it sure did make me remember that song and that kid. lol.

Even your post was pretty original line of thinking based on that article, imho. Or did you copy that from somewhere else? Hey! you're Web 3.0 and you didn't even know it! ^_^;;

[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 7:35 am (utc) on April 30, 2008]


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