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Picked up a spare ticket to the ‘Googleworld’ debate at the the Institute of Contemporary Arts yesterday evening. Bill Thompson chaired a pleasantly ‘warm’ chat between New York Times columnist Randall Stross and Independent columnist Andrew Keen.

Initially I wasn’t sure what to expect, billed as a look back over the past ten years of Google and forward to whatever might come next, it wasn’t as technically oriented as I’d hoped it’d be. It more focused on social and philanthropical interest – as a well as being a bit of a sell for both their new books.

I would have liked the opportunity to open up discussion to Semantic technologies, perhaps to pose the question, What are Google’s intentions? – if they even have any – of introducing any Semantic Web technologies to their platform. It’s something I was recently asked about after writing my last post, but it wasn’t really the right crowd.

In other news, Semantic start-up Twine goes public today. Founder Nova Spivack, posted some interesting stats yesterday about user engagement on the site over the last eight months during it’s semi-public, semi-beta phase.

It seems their users queue up some lengthy sessions on the site, longer even, he now predicts, than Delicious and MySpace.



  1. Hi Marc, as chair on the night I agree that it would have been nice to get more into semantic web issues, but I think both Randall and Andrew wanted to stay away from deep tech stuff – I’m not sure how comfortable either of them would have been if I’d asked what they thought of microformats 🙂

    In fact I’m not sure that either of them would have had any real insight into Google’s semantic aspirations – buy Twine? After all, Andrew seems to believe that Google wants to be the first AI and is worried that they’ll take over the world…

  2. Hi Bill,

    I agree, perhaps in their position Google aren’t so worried that the divine ‘advent’ of the Semantic Web is too immediate.

    But I was itching for someone to use the word semantic when Andrew spoke of humans being replaced by ‘machines talking to machines’..!

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