Workshop on Social and Collaborative
Construction of Structured Knowledge
Banff, Canada, May 8, 2007
The Stone Soup of Data, Jamie Taylor, Metaweb.
Abstract:The fable of Stone Soup describes how small contributions of a scarce resource by a large group can produce a large community resource which has great value to all who use it. Shared Knowledge Repositories are philosophically similar to Stone Soup, but unlike soup, building a structured knowledge repository is challenging in its own right. At a large scale, the myriad of requirements and constraints imposed by various constituents on data modeling can prevent easy, universal participation, thus limiting the repository offering to a specific knowledge domain or application.
Freebase is an effort to create an open repository of all the world's information through a collaborative, community driven effort. As such, Freebase must overcome the typical barriers to knowledge modeling and collection in order to create a practical, universal database. To that end, Freebase was designed as a platform where technology and social protocols can be tuned in response to community needs and behavior.
This talk will focus on the ways in which Freebase aims to catalyze community knowledge capture as well as data reuse. We will examine how small contributions by large numbers of users can create robust knowledge networks. The role of the Freebase modeling mechanisms as facilitators for community construction will be discussed, as well as their role in controlled, collaborative experiments and social learning.
About the speaker:Jamie Taylor is the Minister of Information at Metaweb Technologies, where he tends to Data Gardening and Community Building. His interest in large scale, non-relational data stores grew while serving as CTO and VP of Engineering at DETERMINE Software (now a part of Selectica) where he led teams building user-configurable, Enterprise-class data repositories. He was the founder of one of San Francisco's first ISP's and has a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Behavioral Economics.