Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What do the Semantic Web and Crunchbase have in common?

Last week Crunchbase announced the release of their API. Austin Startup is starting to use it!But more interesting, is the Semantic Web side of it.

Even though I don't know him personally (but I follow him on twitter), Benjamin Nowack is a true Semantic Web evangelist. He is a semantic web developer and runs a web firm calles Semsol. He has developed really cool Semantic Web framework over Apache and PHP. So for all you php developers who are interested in getting on the Semantic Web boat, this is a company that you guys have to check out!

But going back to Crunchbase and the Semantic Web. Last week, I saw Benjamin's tweet that he was starting to play with Crunchbase API and was going to start creating a SPARQL interface. In less than 3 days, Benjamin organized a how Semantic Web portal for accessing Crunchbase data in RDF: Semantic CrunchBase. I am amazed on how somebody so passionate can get stuff done so quickly and start exposing data into the Semantic Web.

What I really like is CrunchBase's response on twitter: "much props Ben. looking really good so far. Maybe we should look into this whole 'semantic web' thing :) keep us updated". You know what CrunchBase, you should definitely get on the Semantic Web boat! And not only you, but everybody else!

Hopefully very soon we will see a cloud in the Open Link Data that belongs to CrunchBase. And then all blogs that show info from CrunchBase (like AustinStartup) can also get interested in getting their data on the Semantic Web.

Once again, this reminds me of something important that the Semantic Web community needs to do: offer easy and straightforward ways to export data from the "web2.0" onto the "web3.0" in RDF format. Next time somebody like CrunchBase comes along, they can create their own SPARQL interfaces and extract RDF data easily, without the need of somebody like Benjamin (no offense at all! On the contrary... your work is brillant, but you will not always be available to create SPARQL interfaces for everybody... or will you?)


bengee said...

Wow, thank you very much :)
It's cool indeed that the CB folks are making their data available. And I'm sure that they could benefit as well. They mentioned Freebase sync which gets in reach now that we have triples. And I'd really like to explore tailored, SPARQL-driven widgets a little more.

Cheers, Ben

hwork said...

Hey Juan, thanks a lot for the post and your kind words! Admittedly we knew little about RDF/SPARQL going into this project (we just knew that we were trying to accumulate data and make it as easily accessible as possible). But thanks to guys like you and Ben, we're starting to understand. Cheers!

Bryan Menell said...

Thanks for the mention. At AustinStartup we're very interested in this entire area, and are just scratching the surface of our CrunchBase usage.

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