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Notes from the Session: Structured Data for the Masses (RowanNairn)


Opens with a discussion about Cory Doctorows (semantic web problems/semantic web is dead) and Clay Shirky (Many 2 Many solution could provide hope for semantic web)


Rowan Nairn demo


Rowan has a prototype web application that stems from some of the same ideas outlined in Clay's approach:


A bookark keeper for anything (not just pages) Wiki database - a general backend database versioned on a micro-level


  • Spreasheet oriented web page
  • Creating a wiki-based database
  • Database versioned on a micro level
  • Collaborative online spreadsheet
  • Generalized bookmarking (like 43places) - but more difficult to make work than specialized ones - but you don't have to create specialized ones for every class of object
  • Ability to add any piece of data on a web page and tag it (for example, searching for cameras, you could add the key values (price/zoom/powersource) into the dbwiki


RossMayfield discussed vertical information assembly (coding) vs. horizontal (wiki). WM-data coming out of the wikimania event in Frankfurt


Popularity vs. trust was discussed in managing or policing the validity of data


RossMayfield discussed using social network as a filter - reputation experiment within wiki example: omidyar.net/home explicit reputation system - give out to different people. (see also WikiFeatures:RatedPages, where this feature has recently been cataloged)


Chao Lam demo


Next we saw a demo from Chao Lam


  • Open Record 0.1 - a tool for web-based peer production
  • open source project - 3 part-time programmers - 1200 hours
  • A content management system used for structured wiki applications
  • Nav-bar - wiki-like page different views
  • Collaboration website
  • Editable pages - editable tables - ajaxy interface - open source


More info:



To get involved:



RossMayfield and WikiWyg demo