The World Economic Forum (WEF) and numerous ancillary events kick off in Davos this week, and despite an apparent dearth of bankers the small Swiss town will play host to even more politicians, business leaders and journalists than usual.
Most mainstream news outlets devote significant airtime, column inches and other measures of attention to the event over the next few days, but it isn't always easy to find out what's going on behind the headlines; whether you're interested in exploring a story's background or more concerned with finishing the piece that you hope will be the next story.
Semantic start-up Eqentia takes a slightly different tack, offering a useful aggregation of WEF-related news from around the web with their 'World Economic Forum Vertical News Environment.' I've been beta testing their equivalent for Cloud Computing for a couple of months, and have found it useful.
According to Eqentia CEO William Mougayar, the company's WEF demonstrator is crawling some 9,700 feeds per hour and then assigning 'relevant' articles to concepts in a pre-defined (but evolving) Semantic Map in order to deliver relevant results as usefully as possible.
"I think the key novelty with the portal is not just the aggregation, but it's the semantics behind it plus the fact that WEF's own content is mixed in with new media articles, going as far back as 2 years ago in history.
The benefits are that it allows a user to follow a topic or issue seamlessly via one of the Connections available. For example there has been lots of people asking why the world's experts didn't predict the current crisis, but the reality is that plenty of warnings were given last year (See this from exactly a year ago on 26 January 2008), so these past reports will show-up in the portal."
If you're interested in the WEF discussions over the next few days, then Eqentia's tool could be worth a look.