I took care of technical specifications first since that is the easy part for me. Now I am going to try to go back and look at some of the use cases that lead me to this idea.
Artist Community – My brother wants to start an online community for artists that will allow the artist to bring together all of his works together in one place. The community would then categorize and rate various works. Other artists and art critics can add comments on each work and then the comments themselves can be rated as helpful or not.
This allows artists and critics to become recognized as experts in various fields. If they are working in one of their fields or one that is closely related, their work or critique will be more highly valued because of the level that they have achieved.
So if Vangelis stops by and gives you advice about a song you wrote, you will know, first to say a big thank you, and second to pay attention to what he said. The reason for this community is that there are hundreds of people without that name recognition that still have a good bit of expertise. This community using semantic assertions will help you find them.
Solutions Research – Semantic assertions should also help me with my job. Right now when a geek (myself included) finds a cool “solution” (that is geek-speak for hardware, software, service, or idea) we tag it in one of hundreds of tagging systems. If we really like it we blog about it. If it breaks, we blog about, leave a bunch of comments on other blogs, complain in the forums, and and then spend three hours searching for someone else’s solutions.
Tags, blogs, and search engines are not enough. If I search for a widget and it is called a gadget, I am going to be searching for a while. Semantic assertions join similar tags and concepts together, but they do not have to follow a predetermined hierarchy. Hierarchies and similarities can grow organically.
Semantic assertions also help you find solutions that will work with your unique combination of hardware, software, preferences, and budget. With enough data someone could write a 20 questions interface that narrows down the options based on your choices. The interface can be continuously trained using semantic assertions algorithms in addition to using semantic assertions as data.
Grassroots voting – Most of the time when we vote on something a group of people preselects which options are available. They have to, because with hundreds of options no one would be able to get close to a majority. Some voting schemes allow you to split your vote or rank your top three. This seldom reflects people’s true preferences. Semantic assertions can get a lot closer. Used properly they can lead to the optimal solution. Not a perfect solution of course, but the one that leads to the highest possible satisfaction level in a given situation.
Hundreds of other things will work better – Job search, car search, war-gaming, finding a baby-sitter, and finding a coal drawing of a dalmatian with his head turned a certain direction. Semantic assertions help in any situation where you have more than three choices the result of which determine which options are available at the next step or any situation where other people’s opinions matter but some matter more than others.
Trust between communities – Semantic Assertions
Semantic assertions increase the value of existing tagging systems