We’re getting closer to the Semantic Web. The problem is that we as Web users, application writers, and standards writers have failed miserably to come up with and adopt a distributed solution to the problem. It is starting to look more like private enterprise is going to solve this problem. if this is the case, the interesting question to me (more interesting than solving the problem) is how one company will establish themselves as the organizing body for the world’s semantic information.
Google has the momentum to accomplish this (despite missing the boat earlier with Google base); I would be shocked if there weren’t internal Google Semantic Web projects. Otherwise, open APIs and an open collective database are a good start, but what is the use case that makes every application want to jump on board, reference that database, and share their structure?
This is the true Web 2.0 way: don’t ask users to provide structure, unless it’s useful to them. But do design your applications in such a way that structure is generated without extra effort on the user’s part. And mine structure that already exists, even if it’s messy and inefficient.