Recent podcast subject Kingsley Idehen opened the Linked Data Planet conference in New York yesterday morning, demonstrating the evolution of thought and practice from the world of big databases toward the Semantic Web; a journey that he and his company are well positioned to describe.
Kingsley began by pointing to some of the well-understood trends that made Web 2.0 feasible, and discussed the corresponding growth in 'user generated content' in the consumer space. He argued that similar trends are also at work within the enterprise, and that the previously clear lines between enterprise and individual are becoming increasingly permeable.
Assuming this to be true, the enterprise faces increasingly complex challenges in engaging with and empowering its employees on the one hand, and recognising and responding to the blurring lines between work time and personal time, employee and customer on the other.
Linked Data, Kingsley argued, offers a powerful means to "mesh disparate and heterogenous data" over the web in ways that cross some of the boundaries he touched upon earlier in his presentation.
The corporate data silo, Kingsley claimed, "will die." He didn't seem saddened by the prospect.
Context will replace content as 'king', facilitating a move from 'mashing up' (characterised by Kingsley as 'brute force data linking') to 'meshing' (characterised as 'natural data linking') of data across the Web.