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Reviews of Semantics and the Web:


  • John Christopher Mayfield

    I was pretty surprised by the complex and convoluted structure of finding something on the internet. Terry's discussion of the many different types of information systems and the means for catalogueing them made me realize that, truly, no conventional system of organization can work for a mass of information to which virtually anyone can contribute. Nobody checks who is presenting this information, nobody knows whether it is true, and nobody knows whether they are even talking about what they claim to be. It's a big mess, basically.

    It's a shame that such disorder must arise from such freeness of communication.

    I hope that at some point, we will be able to create a system that allows for easy and accurate navigation of even the shadowy and obscure corners of the internet. For now, I guess google and their bell curve is the best we're going to get.

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  • Scott Brandon McDonald

    Terry Brooks' presentation of the Semantic Web was quite impressive. How does one create meaning in the open web? Most people don't even understand this question, much less know how to go about answering it. In every other form of widely available published material, a certain degree of truth can be gathered. Books and magazines are usually reviewed by an editor before a publisher will put it out on the market, and we as readers are simply left to determine things like the New York Times is probably more truthful than the National Enquirer. Determining truthfulness on the internet is not that easy, and seeing how Google has attempted to establish some meaning through the search function was very intriguing.

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  • Eithon Michael Cadag

    I'm fortunate enough to have had Prof. Brooks as a teacher in two of my Informatics classes, so I'm somewhat familiar with the Semantic Web.

    It's a very interesting idea, and really does propose to revolutionize the way we search and use the web. Consider that now, web bots must decide on their own in an almost arbitrary basis how to categorize and search for terms on a site to present to the user. The use of metadata as a standard can change this search paradigm dramatically, and could possibly make it much more simpler to dig through web information (every engine becomes a Google?).

    The one danger here is in making these practices standard. If we look at web pages today, its considered good practice to add a 'META' tag to a page to help classify it, but not everyone (not even close) does that. Trying to ensure a standard method of describing webpages stands to be just as daunting as the size of the web itself.

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  • Diana P Ayala

    his speech about web sites and html plus other things was confusing to me because I don't have that much knowledge about websites. Although, his presentation was exciting and entertaining because of the way that his presented with giving great examples for topics some people may not understand. Even though, I didn't understand some of the things he was talking, I still thought it was an exciting presentation.

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  • Julie Dawn Pravitz

    I've got to be honest- a great deal of this presentation was over my head. Until now I've never even thought about how google picks what sites to display during a seach. Although it was quite interesting how this "googlebot" does "sweeps" through websites to determine it's relativity, and desireablness to a web searcher. I also found it interesting that all the factors that it takes into account are constantly changing as to outsmart the web site programmers that are fighting to get to the top of the list.

    A great presentation- very dynamic and interesting!

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  • Rosanne Weiling Chien

    He appears to be someone who truly enjoys what he does, which we can see through his talk. But given the complexity of his work, it would be ideal if he toned down his talk in terms of having a more general audience, without the same background as his, be able to understand what he is trying to get across. Perhaps defining some of the terms that he used so that a "common person" could understand them might be helpful and beneficial. I felt like he was so compassionate about his work and that he was so eager to talk about it that it was difficult for him to "hold back". Granted, he is a great speaker and is able to entertain his audience, it would be nice for us to understand and share his enthusiasm.

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  • Gregory Nathaniel Heasley

    I thought that, while I found this presentation interesting, most of it went over my head. Before the lecture I thoguht I was somewhat competant with computers, but this lecture really put me in my place. I did find it interesting to see how google processes and delivers information, even if I couldn't quite grasp it all. Terry obviously is well versed and knowledgeable in his field.

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  • John Hilgeman

    I had some difficulty following Terry Brooks. It seems that he has an almost religious fervor for the subject. The concepts he was relating were obscure to me as I was stuck way back when he mentioned the “semantic web” and “what does meaning mean?” He definitely seemed very knowledgeable on subjects that I know nothing about and that may be the reason I was lost. I did, however, love “The Elfstones of Shannara”.

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  • Ferdinand Laurino

    I will never look at a browser the same forever. The presentation was very interesting and in lighting. Terry Brooks energizing attitude keep me interested throughout the presentation. His ability to clearly present the complex ideas made it easier to understand. Of course, some information was beyond my comprehension but I got the main idea of how the internet is complex growing community. It reminded me of a movie in 1982 called Tron a world existed outside the reality is a very interesting avenue to see.

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