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Mining the Social Web by Matthew A. Russell

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Hope

While the intentional omission of discussion of the semantic web throughout the bulk of this short book may have created the impression of an arbitrary and rigid divide between the social and semantic webs, the divide is actually quite blurry and constantly in flux. It is very likely the case that the undeniable proliferation of social data on the Web, combined with initiatives such as the microformats published by parties ranging from the Food Network to LinkedIn, Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, and the creative efforts of data hackers such as yourself are greatly accelerating the realization of a semantic web that may not be all that different from the one that’s been so overinflated with hype over the past 15 years. The proliferation of social data has the potential to be a great catalyst for the development of a semantic web that will enable agents to make nontrivial actions on our behalf. We’re not there yet, but be hopeful! Or, to put it another way, at least consider the wise words of Epicurus, who perhaps said it best: “Don’t spoil what you have by desiring what you don’t have; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.”

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