Semantic Technology Conference


Last April I listed out a bunch of conferences and film festivals that I had attended or hoped to attend, and in some cases I was also a speaker. With the end of 2009 in sight my calendar for next year is already starting to get filled in, so it seemed like a good time for an update on some of the events that have caught my eye for the first half 2010.

  • Intelligent Content 2010 (Feb) – I wish I had submitted a proposal, but I didn’t. Hopefully I can go as an attendee.
  • SXSW (March) – Nothing concrete yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be involved with aspects of both the Interactive and Film portions of the festival.
  • PAX East (March) – I plan to attend this Boston-based version of the popular West Coast gaming convention.
  • Content Strategy Forum (April) – I’ll be co-leading a workshop and giving a talk at this 2-day conference in Paris, organized by STC France.
  • Tribeca Film Festival (April) – Once the schedule is posted (sometime in the Spring), let me know if you need movie recommendations!
  • ROFLcon II (April) – I’ll be attending this epic internet culture conference as it returns to its city of origin (Cambridge, MA).
  • Semantic Technology Conference (June) – In its 6th year, the conference moves to San Francisco, and I hope to once again be a speaker.

Oh yeah, and I’m in discussions with some people to organize an exciting event of our own. More updates to come as plans get firmed up!

When I got back from the Semantic Technology Conference last month, I helped my colleague, Domenic Venuto, write a piece for MinOnline about the things magazine publishers should know about the Semantic Web. I summed up some of the most relevant presentations at SemTech this year, and why I think these things should be important to publishers. Domenic put it all into the context of the work we do with our Media and Entertainment clients, and we worked together to try to express why they should really get moving on this stuff now!

After the article came out, Semantic Universe posted video from a lot of the talks that I mentioned. Very interesting, if you want more detail:

I’ve been accused, by a couple people, of becoming a “professaional conference-goer.” I should point out that the people who say this are people that I met at conferences, and I generally only see them when I’m at a conference, so perhaps they have a slightly skewed view of how I spend my time.

But the fact remains that I do go to a lot of conferences. I prefer to think of myself as a conference enthusiast, though, not an aspiring professional. Most of the conferences I go to are in the realm of tech, internet, digital culture, digital arts, or popular arts. I include film festivals too, because, well, I love them.  Some are more professionally oriented, and some are more social. In both cases, though, my goal is the same: to meet interesting people and to be inspired.

Here are some the conferences and film festivals that I’ve been to so far in 2009:

And here are several that I’m planning to go to, or thinking about going to later this year:

I know, you’re probably thinking, “There are whole months in there with no conference plans at all.” But it’s early, yet, and there are a lot of interesting things going on out there.

The last day of the Semantic Technology Conference has a few morning panels, a closing keynote, and then some afternoon seminars. But the day is really about saying goodbye to everyone, finally introducing yourself to a few of the people you’ve been crossing paths with for the past week, and making that annual trip to Koo-ki Sushi. Well, that’s what it’s about for me, anyway.

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Started out the day with my own presentation – Survey of Taxonomy Tools (follow the link to view the slides). It seemed to be pretty well received, for the most part. I included some time for discussion, and several people contributed interesting comments and questions. I was pretty happy with the turnout considering that this session was first thing in the morning.

After that I was so relieved, I’m surprised I could do anything, but I jumped right back into some interesting presentations, including a panel on Developing Semantic Web Applications, a talk on Calais, and a keynote that included several of the Rising Stars of the Semantic Web. Then I ended the day on the speaking side of the table again.

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Started the day out with keynote speeches by Nova Spivack (Radar Networks) & Eric Miller (Zepheira). This was followed by presentations, of which my favorites were on Persistent Identifiers, Blue Organizer, and Bringing Semantics to Mainstream Markets. I closed the day out by going to the vendor exhibits.

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It occurred to me, towards the end of day one of this conference, that I’ve been making my panel choices based on the speaker more than the on the topic. Now that I know more about who is doing what, this seems to be a better indicator of whether I’ll find the presentation interesting. Of course, I still take the topic into consideration, but my knowledge of the speaker will carry equal weight and will certainly come into play as a tie breaker.

So, today I went to one tutorial by some guys from DERI and one by some guys from Metaweb (makers of Freebase), and then a presentation by Tom Ilube, of Garlik. All three were just as excellant as I’d hoped.

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