Semantic Web Online Research Study Findings

A recent online survey on experiences with and expectations towards Social Software and the Semantic Web indicates that Semantic Web technologies are maturing and transcending into the corporate domain. Differing notions between application-oriented and research-oriented participants are much smaller than expected.

Social Software

  • There exist slightly differing application and usage patterns of Social Software between the two groups, but the general trend says: Wikis are king! Social Bookmarking stays behind.
  • There exists broad consent about the benefits of Social Software. Both groups say that quick access to information and knowledge is the biggest benefit generated by Social Software, followed by social networking functionalities and ubiquitous access to documents and data.
  • There are differing notions about the barriers to Social Software, but consent exists that the amount of time necessary to use and maintain Social Software applications is the biggest obstacle.

Semantic Web

  • The overall Semantic Web familiarity is already rather high.
  • Most participants, especially from the research-domain, have dealt with the topic for more than three years. Application-oriented users catch up.
  • More than 80 percent of application-oriented and research-oriented participants think that Semantic Web technologies are at least relevant to be used for corporate and business purposes.
  • Search is the killer app! Integration costs & data control might be important aspects.
  • There exist differing notions about the importance of certain barriers to the Semantic Web. Application-oriented participants believe that the organizational culture, the complexity of the technology, a general lack of experts and a lack of success stories are the biggest obstacles to the application of Semantic Web technologies. On the contrary research-oriented participants believe that the lack of success stories, a general lack of experts, a lack in quality of available software and the problem to quantify the benefits will hinder the broad adoption.
  • While just a small minority believes that there won’t be any changes at all, most participants expect changes in regard to competencies of the knowledge worker and new forms of collaboration either between or within companies.
  • The readiness to implement Semantic Web technologies is relatively high among both groups although the application-oriented participants seem to be a bit more reluctant.
  • The last question of the survey reveals that expectations towards the Semantic Web are very high! Especially the application-oriented participants believe that the relevance of Semantic Web technologies in times of crisis is growing.

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