[rdfweb-dev] Ecademy FOAF

Bill Kearney wkearney99 at h...
Tue Dec 31 07:02:36 UTC 2002

This is unfortunate. This is much the same irrational reaction people have to
scraping of HTML pages for reaggregation into RSS feeds.

They fear that which they do not understand. It's like the chicken and the egg
at it's worst. The 'under the radar' approach to RSS largely avoided this
paranoia. This worked well because it's just 'stories' not groups or
relationships of people.

There's something missing in exposing the value of "like minded-ness" to people.
They don't grasp that this is about people connecting with other *people* by
virtue of using ideas. It seems they've been totally brainwashed into thinking
the web is either some narrowly focused geek talk or e-commerce. Of course one
could argue this is a larger overall societal failure but that's a bit deep.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, foaf needs some better delineation
of grouping. "knows" without qualifiers is NOT enough. This lacking will turn
people off the concept. It's been my experience that to most folks who you know
is not as important as how you know them.

-Bill Kearney

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ian Davis" <iand at i...>
To: <rdfweb-dev at yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 11:43 AM
Subject: [rdfweb-dev] Ecademy FOAF

> Sadly, due to some extremely hostile reactions, Julian has had to
> disable the automatic production of FOAF from Ecademy profiles [1].
> It now has to be explicitly set on by members, an action unlikely to
> be performed by most until there is widespread understanding of what
> FOAF is.
> Much of the debate revolved around the idea of other applications
> automatically aggregating this information, despite the fact that
> there was no more information in the FOAF than there already was on
> people's HTML profile pages. I guess the perception was that FOAF puts
> it all together in one place in a format specifically intended for
> machine consumption.
> Good try Julian, we'll just have to work harder at helping people
> understand FOAF and its benefits.

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