How my inner nerd got hooked by the Semantic Web

This was supposed to be the first post for this blog but I never published it so far. The second part is a pretty technical explanation on why I started to love the semantic web, which might also explain the subtitle of this blog ;) I got way better in explaining it meanwhile but I still think it makes sense to post it for historical and nerdy reasons, so here we go.

About four years ago a friend of mine and I were having dinner at my place and I tried to explain him what we aim at. Our vision was still very abstract back then but he told me that the stuff I talk about sounds a lot like something which goes under the name Semantic Web. Some time later he made a short presentation to our team, I remember sitting there and hear about things like triples, SPARQL, giant global graph and so on.

To be honest, I didn’t get it at all at first. But somehow it stuck in my head, I had the idea that this technology indeed might be a part of the puzzle we try to solve. A few month later it was summer and I was looking for a good excuse to sit at the lake in the sun instead of working on the computer.  So I printed a bunch of papers from W3C explaining the semantic web and its components and started reading.

I was amazed. I mean I was seriously amazed. I spend quite some time in the IT business and I did quite a bit of data modeling, programming and all that stuff but what I read was sexy, super sexy (inner nerd speaking here). I still didn’t understand the whole thing yet but it seemed like there is something out there which has the potential to solve all the nasty technical problems I was running into sooner or later in the past.

So what is so sexy about it? As the Internet (or rather its protocol suite called TCP/IP) connected computers in a universal language in the 70ies and the Web connected documents in the 90ies Semantic Web connect things the same way. What things? Anything! Seriously!

If this sounds fair enough you can now stop reading. If you don’t believe me yet, read on.