film – web 3.0

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Creative Commons License
Web 3.0 by Kate Ray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

CORRECTION: Visual Thesaurus is a product of Thinkmap, not WordNet (though it draws on the work by WordNet). Sorry Thinkmap, I love your product!



  • Drupal – Open-source Semantic Web publishing software
  • DBpedia – Structuring Wikipedia
  • Siri – Your friendly neighborhood Semantic Web agent


  • Semantic Web app Siri bought by Apple – TechCrunch (4/28/10)
  • Pew Research Center project on the Future of the Semantic Web (5/4/10)
  • ‘Does Facebook Really Want a Semantic Web?’ – ReadWriteWeb (5/6/10)


  • John Hebeler – is a scientist at BBN Technologies and co-author of the book, Semantic Web Programming.
  • David Weinberger – is the author of Everything is Miscellaneous and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto (which began as a website), is currently a Senior Researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and was a Senior Internet Advisor on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. He blogs at Joho the Blog (and had this to say about the Semantic Web).
  • Clay Shirky – is a writer, consultant, and adjunct professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU. He is the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, and blogs prolifically about the media and the Internet. Read his original post about the Semantic Web.
  • Nova Spivack – is a serial technology entrepreneur, was CEO/Founder of recently-acquired Radar Networks, makers of semantic search engine Twine, and is currently working on a new project, Live Matrix, that will be a guide to live online events. He blogs about web trends and technologies.
  • Tim Berners-Lee – invented the World Wide Web in 1989 while working at the European Particle Physics Laboratory, CERN. He is currently Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched in 2009.
  • Chris Dixon – is CEO/Co-Founder of social recommendation service Hunch, an investor in a number of Internet start-ups, and a leading blogger on Internet entrepreneurship in the New York area.
  • Alon Halevy – is a Research Scientist at Google, lately working on Fusion Tables, a service for more flexible data management, still in beta. He blogs about technology and coffee.
  • Jason Shellen – is a former Google engineer who started the Google Reader project, and currently the CEO/Founder of Thing Labs, makers of social media reader Brizzly.
  • Lee Feigenbaum – is the Vice-President of Technology and Standards at Cambridge Semantics and co-chair of the W3C’s SPARQL Working Group, which oversees the semantic data query language. He blogs about Semantic Web technologies.
  • Abraham Bernstein – is a Professor at the Department of Informatics at the University of Zurich and was the co-chair of the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) 2009.
  • David Karger – is a Professor of Computer Science at MIT and was the other co-chair of ISWC 2009. He works on MIT’s Haystack project for information management and SIMILE project for data visualization.


  • Daniel Belkin – Camera (Chris Dixon interview) and ruthless editing-mentor (here’s the trailer for his film).
  • Marco Neumann – Head of the impressive New York Semantic Web Meetup (see or Lotico wiki) – 1,300 members! Definitely worth coming to if you’re in the area.
  • Jay Rosen – NYU Professor, writer  of the smart media blog PressThink, and helpful adviser.
  • David Corner – Camera (Alon Halevy interview) and perennial audience
  • HE.NET Data Center – Benny Ng and Peter Yim, for letting me film at this enormous data center.
  • ISWC 2009 – Leo Obrst and Mike Dean for access to this terrific conference.
  • ISWC ontology panel: Enrico Motta, Michael Witbrock, Tom Heath, and chair Joel Sachs.
  • Frank van Harmelen gets a special thanks for doing a great interview with me that I didn’t end up using for technical reasons.

Documentaries are inevitably reductionist. I see mine as a way to start a discussion, rather than close one. If you have something to say, please leave a comment.


  1. Posted 05/08/2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is a lovely statement about the future and the joy people have relishing it unfolding.

  2. Posted 05/08/2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well done!

    A few months ago, I published an article entitled, A Flock of Twitters: Decentralized Semantic Microblogging. It’s about the power and possibilities of harnessing Semantic Web technologies to provide the Web’s citizens with an effective means of owning their data and controlling privacy, identity, and their communication streams.

  3. bernardlunn
    Posted 05/09/2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is a superb. As the Pew survey reminds us, we need to do a better job of introducing the Semantic Web to people. This film is a great way to do that. It gives a sense of why we are all excited by this, but I love the way you also manage to make the debates and challenges we face so interesting.

  4. Posted 05/09/2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really enjoyed this, especially some of the sound bites and questions it raises

    Is content still king?
    Is semantic web a witness protection program for AI enthusiasts?
    Do we need ontologies?

    • Sharun
      Posted 05/11/2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Is content still king?
      When Clay Shirky @ 3:14 says ‘content is not king’, I think he means, its becoming so easy to generate content, that we are all just drowning in it. So what becomes valuable is not the content itself, but the ability to extract useful information.

      Which is what he is saying @ 3:31 How do you filter things so you can create more value, than what you can currently get?

      Wolfram alpha is already doing an amazing job of answering that question. Think about all the things you would have to filter out of pages and pages, to generate this graph using Google or the Library – It being done cause

      I really enjoyed the documentary too. Great job!

  5. mariamz
    Posted 05/09/2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for this. Bernstein and Karger have my vote.

  6. Posted 05/09/2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Fantastic job, Kate. You did such a great job getting all of these people to talk to you and to express a cross section of views on the Semantic Web. I for one am more optimistic about a future Semantic Web than some of your speakers, but I really enjoyed your work and hope you do more technology videos in the future.

  7. Posted 05/10/2010 at 3:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have only one simple comment: thanks! :-)

  8. Posted 05/10/2010 at 6:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is a great way to deliver the message and present the issues in an accessible way; thanks Kate for producing and sharing it!

    I do think you should also give credit to the members of the “Does the Semantic Web Need Ontologies?” ISWC 2009 panel: Enrico Motta, Frank van Harmelen, Michael Witbrock, Tom Heath (Chaired by Joel Sachs).


    • Kate Ray
      Posted 05/10/2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, you’re absolutely right, I’ll get them into the credits later this week. For now, just writing up an expanded credits section for this page.
      Thanks for the comment!

  9. Posted 05/10/2010 at 6:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Inspiring and thought-provoking. Thank you!

  10. Arthur Barstow
    Posted 05/10/2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well done and Thanks!

    Re Semantic Web == “A witness protection program for AI researchers”, that’s a good one! My recollection from related discussions in 2000 is that it is “Revenge of the AI Nerds” :-).

  11. Posted 05/10/2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent film, Kate!

    Reconciling the divide between a semantic web’s potential and its participatory access for conventional, everyday users will be the critical innovation.

  12. Kees Broenink
    Posted 05/10/2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I do not like the film. It is unclear. Is this because the people interviewed are uncertain about web3.0 or because the wrong questions were asked? I don’t know. Both I guess. So you better look for the people in the garage that are building web 3.0 right now. I would ask Google. They are probably busy improving their core business: collecting relevant information from the web.

    • Randy Stuck
      Posted 05/10/2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I believe the film did an excellent job at explaining a very fuzzy topic. @Kees, you must remember that at this point in time, the semantic web is more of a philosophical idea than a practical program (at least, in my opinion).

  13. Posted 05/10/2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great doc, explains it really well and puts things in perspective.

    I think semantic web’s definitely here to stay, the question is only how far it will (or can) extend.

  14. Dave Manzolillo
    Posted 05/10/2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great in-depth and accurate view of the state of Semantic Web. Maybe it should be showcased at the 2010 ISWC…

  15. aviwener
    Posted 05/10/2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a fascinating video. I don’t believe that the problem of managing contextual relationships is restricted solely to the web. Coming from the biotechnology field, your video really got me thinking about how we manage the masses of data that is being produced daily by biotech R&D labs and how difficult it is to manage the many combinatorial permutations involved in regulating human biology. Here are some of my rambling thoughts on the American Biotechnologist

  16. Posted 05/10/2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely. My new favorite video!

    Profound simplicity, really.

    “Truth is but one Point and the ignorant have multiplied it.”


  17. Braden
    Posted 05/10/2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well done.

  18. Posted 05/10/2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    well done Kate!

  19. k
    Posted 05/11/2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink | Reply


  20. Posted 05/11/2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Brilliant job Kate – this will go far in helping people get up to speed and get involved. Thanks so much.

  21. Guy de Vere
    Posted 05/11/2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    A valiant attempt at a difficult subject, but 2 comments:
    1- The Semantic Web (according to Tim B-L) is not Web 3.0. The (Semantic) web of data will evolve alongside the web of documents & will not replace it.
    2- the ontology issue is a red herring since there is no dependency on having models of the real world before you can add data to a Semantic data Web. This is the fundamental difference between the current “Closed World” data architecture which requires a data model before you can persist your data & the “Open World” assumption on which the Semantic Web is based.
    An “Open World” approach allows everyone to record data assertions about the real world based on their own observations & to derive models that ‘make sense’ of the data afterwards based on the actual data & the (re-)purposes to which the data are being used. Multiple conflicting Ontologies that reflect different interpretations of the real world data will emerge & add to the Semantic richness, auto-mashup opportunities & data re-use potential, but a single consistent ontology model is not a pre-requisite.

  22. Posted 05/11/2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    “+1″ on Guy’s comment regarding the open world assumption. The ability to make arbitrary and possibly conflicting assertions about entities will be the enduring strength of the model.

    For the deep history and justification of this approach (which predates RDF by more than a decade), read about the Entity-Attribute-Value model (Wikipedia).

  23. Sean McDonald
    Posted 05/11/2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great work! Glad to see my friend Ted Selker saw it, as well..

  24. Posted 05/12/2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent video.

  25. Michael
    Posted 05/12/2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Can you provide a link to the video in an h.264 version. I assume it’s flash as I can’t see it on an iPad.

  26. Posted 05/13/2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well done, thank you for this very impressive video Kate!
    @bernardlunn: I’m with you, this is for sure a very excellent way of spreading the idea of the semantic web to more people.

  27. jbapowell
    Posted 05/14/2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congrats, Kate — Well done!

  28. Posted 05/15/2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent video.

  29. Posted 05/18/2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    At first, I was a bit puzzled by the Klezmer band music, but then I saw the list of participants… :-)

    • Pat Weiss
      Posted 05/20/2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply


  30. Posted 05/28/2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. Thanks!

  31. Jamie
    Posted 06/01/2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    bravo! Excellent video!

  32. Posted 06/08/2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great video Kate!

    BTW there’s a response to Clay’s infamous Semantic Web smackdown here –

  33. Posted 06/10/2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    I really enjoyed the doco. Well done on a well thought out piece of film (digital). Tim’s quote at the end is so on the money.

  34. Posted 06/25/2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very good video, i really enjoyed!
    You did a great job, Kate!

  35. Posted 07/05/2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink | Reply


    What an excellent documentary. It speaks to people across all the information professions. Great work.

  36. Posted 07/19/2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    I echo others kudos – WELL DONE!

    It keeps getting more interesting – what a great space to be in. The key is moving “interesting” into “benefiting” society at large.

  37. Posted 07/22/2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Brilliant video, spot on!

  38. sonny mason
    Posted 11/19/2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great Job.
    I came across your video while doing research on the topic.
    I am a visual producer, so my interest stems essentially from that approach.None the less, I am especially interested in the future of web and communications technology. Your presentation of this particular aspect helped put more of the pieces together for me. I would like discus some of my ideas with you if thats possible. I am a film and comm student in jersey looking to do my MA at NYU or New School next year. Let me know, thanks.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: