Metcalfe's Law Applies to Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web

James Hendler, Jennifer Golbeck


The power of the Web is enhanced through the network effect produced as resources link to each other with the value determined by Metcalfe's law. In Web 2.0 applications, much of that effect is delivered through social linkages realized via social networks online. Unfortunately, the associated semantics for Web 2.0 applications, delivered through tagging, is generally minimally hierarchical and sparsely linked. The Semantic Web suffers from the opposite problem. Semantic information, delivered through ontologies of varying amounts of expressivity, is linked to other terms (within or between documents) creating a link space in the semantic realm. However, the use of the Semantic Web has yet to fully realize the social schemes that provide the network of users. In this article, we discuss putting these together, with linked semantics coupled to linked social networks, to deliver a much greater effect.

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Type of Paper: Discussion Paper
Keywords: Semantic Web; Web 2.0; Social networks; tagging; Metcalfe's Law
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