I was looking into ways of making sense of this. The buzzword is the semantic web, or web 3.0, but actually, this doesn’t stop at the web. The goal is to throw a piece of text, such as this article or any other textual information, written in a human language, at a machine.
The machine would then think about it, and reply with information that describes what the input text is all about.
I was looking into OpenCalais first. They provide the first tier of such an analysis, extracting keywords such as Paris or England from a text, telling me one is a city and the other a country. That’s pretty nifty for a machine.
I even wrote a Windows Live Writer plug-in that tries to make sense of OpenCalais’ output, but I wasn’t really getting where I wanted to be. Well, not within an 8 hour effort anyway.
Then I found Zemanta, and I am in love.
While I am writing this article (in Windows Live Writer), the Zemanta plug-in automatically supplies clever links to enrich my text. All the links in this text are automatically generated by Zemanta; some explain keywords through Wikipedia, others go to Google Maps, or product or company home pages.
Zemanta also suggests images (none used here), keywords (tags), and provides a list of suggested external links, leading to other articles elsewhere on the web, concerned with the same issues.
Isn’t that totally super hyper übercool?