Business Models, Profitability, and Linked Data

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Kingsley Idehen

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Jun 7, 2013, 12:52:10 PM6/7/13
to business-of-linked-data-bold, publi...@w3.org, semant...@w3.org
There have been a few recent threads on the LOD and Semantic
Web mailing lists that boil down to the fundamental issues of
profitability, business models, and Linked Data.

Situation Analysis
==================

Business Model Issue
--------------------

The problem with "Data"-oriented business models is that you
ultimately have to deal with the issue of wholesale data copying
without attribution. That's the key issue; everything else is
a futile dance around this concern.

Profitability Issue
-------------------

Profit is the consequence of a functional business model.
Ultimately, an entity, whether a person or an organization,
has to orchestrate the intersection of pain, value opportunity,
capital, value creation, market demographics, packaging, and
value distribution.

Linked Data
-----------

As demonstrated by the Web -- on a daily basis -- our modern
economy is driven by Linked Data in digital form. Nothing has
really changed beyond the fact that value and its distribution
network are increasingly digital.


Problem Resolution
==================

Relations & Relationship Granularity
------------------------------------

Linked Data has always been the engine of the Web economy
because every link on the Web denotes (i.e., names or "refers
to") a Relation. We know everything is Related, but we don't
always know the specifics of a given relationship.

What's changing today is the fidelity (or granularity) of these
Relations. Thus, rather than having a Web-based economy comprised
of coarse-grained relationships between entities of a specific
type, the Web is evolving to incorporate new entity types in
conjunction with new relationship types. Basically, the Web is
becoming more fine-grained.

Note --

• a Relation is a set of Relationships

• Relationships may be represented in different ways, e.g.,
Table Records (typically presented as grids or spreadsheets),
or Entity Relationship Statements (often presented as graph
pictorials, like network or entity relationship model diagrams).

Relation and Relationship Semantics
-----------------------------------

The semantics of Relations, combined with Linked Data, are the key
to addressing the challenge of "data copying without attribution".
Their contribution is to add the following to the mix:

• verifiable identity
• access controls
• trust

Today, it is possible to produce and publish Linked Data (privately
or publicly) while also constraining access via the use of data
access policies. These policies may also be in Linked Data form,
and they determine what privileges are granted to specific
organizations, people, or machines.

Technology
----------

The technologies that make this possible, right now, are as follows:

• Linked Data HTTP URIs
• SPARQL endpoints
• entity relationship semantics based on the RDF model
• Authentication protocols such as WebID+TLS, OAuth, OpenID, and
others still taking shape (Web Keys, for example, which extends
basic HTTP Digest Authentication)


Conclusion
==========

The Web is already driving our economy. It's how Google, Facebook,
Yahoo!, and the like pay their bills. All that's happening now,
in this industry inflection, is a move to a more distributed
framework where participation in the Web-based economy doesn't
require airport-sized data centers. You shouldn't have to be
burdened by the challenge of providing services to the the whole
world in exchange for $0.00 or nothing at all -- that's a game
for behemoths like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Linked Data (what the Web has always been about!) is an economic
engine for value producers of all shapes, sizes, and forms.

Related:

1. http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=function -- Function (remember,
when not void, they return 0 or 1 i.e., True or False)
2. http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=relation -- Relation (a Relation
is really a Function)
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identifier -- you have literals or
references (e.g., HTTP URIs)
4. http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5988#section-3 -- Links (which denote
Relations)
5. http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/diagrams/history/proposal-fig1.gif --
original Web design illustration (note: the "describes"
link/relation/connector)
6. http://bit.ly/1bdlBYq -- Data & Relations thread on Ontolog list .


Melvin Carvalho

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Jun 7, 2013, 4:15:06 PM6/7/13
to business-of-li...@googlegroups.com, publi...@w3.org, semant...@w3.org
You cover public, but what about private, see below.
 

Technology
----------

The technologies that make this possible, right now, are as follows:

• Linked Data HTTP URIs

What about hashes as URIs? 

I can think of a few:

di:
ni:
git:
bitcoin:
ripple:

 
• SPARQL endpoints
• entity relationship semantics based on the RDF model
• Authentication protocols such as WebID+TLS, OAuth, OpenID, and
others still taking shape (Web Keys, for example, which extends
basic HTTP Digest Authentication)


Conclusion
==========

The Web is already driving our economy. It's how Google, Facebook,
Yahoo!, and the like pay their bills. All that's happening now,
in this industry inflection, is a move to a more distributed
framework where participation in the Web-based economy doesn't
require airport-sized data centers. You shouldn't have to be
burdened by the challenge of providing services to the the whole
world in exchange for $0.00 or nothing at all -- that's a game
for behemoths like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

PRISM is now a game changer imho
 

Linked Data (what the Web has always been about!) is an economic
engine for value producers of all shapes, sizes, and forms.

I think the next wave of LD based business can be self funded as OpenCoin Inc. were with ripple.com (to the tune of 1 billion+)

They had a simple philosophy in conjunction with issuing there own data driven coins (the coins are just shared links and relations)

1. Create Liquidity
2. Create Utility
3. Create Trust

Now a regular business does all of these.  But there's now new ways to use data to optimize all 3 of these, and I think that's exciting.  For example, ripple allows you to set up accounts, trust lines, IOUs and trade via their virtually issued data currency.  Each of these has utility, the more you do it the more trust you get, and liquidity was generated by bootstrapping existing data sets ... so that's smart.  Do note that these operations are about having access controlled read / write access to a data set...

I hope we can find linked data business models that can also do the same!

Kingsley Idehen

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Jun 7, 2013, 4:50:43 PM6/7/13
to publi...@w3.org, business-of-linked-data-bold
Sure, it just means you need to implement resolvers for these URIs in the context of Linked Data.

Example:

1. di:sha1;oc2MevXd-mzX4o7et0FUTf38h5s?hashtag=webid&http=id.myopenlink.net -- as di: scheme URI
2. http://linkeddata.uriburner.com/about/html/di:sha1;oc2MevXd-mzX4o7et0FUTf38h5s?hashtag=webid&http=id.myopenlink.net -- resolver effect
3. http://linkeddata.uriburner.com/describe/?url=di%3Asha1%3Boc2MevXd-mzX4o7et0FUTf38h5s%3Fhashtag%3Dwebid%26http%3Did.myopenlink.net -- faceted browser page.

HTTP URIs (as you know) just eliminate the tedium of building a resolver for a scheme re., Linked Data.


 
• SPARQL endpoints
• entity relationship semantics based on the RDF model
• Authentication protocols such as WebID+TLS, OAuth, OpenID, and
others still taking shape (Web Keys, for example, which extends
basic HTTP Digest Authentication)


Conclusion
==========

The Web is already driving our economy. It's how Google, Facebook,
Yahoo!, and the like pay their bills. All that's happening now,
in this industry inflection, is a move to a more distributed
framework where participation in the Web-based economy doesn't
require airport-sized data centers. You shouldn't have to be
burdened by the challenge of providing services to the the whole
world in exchange for $0.00 or nothing at all -- that's a game
for behemoths like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

PRISM is now a game changer imho

PRISM [1] certainly helped put matters into perspective for users of Web services.



 

Linked Data (what the Web has always been about!) is an economic
engine for value producers of all shapes, sizes, and forms.

I think the next wave of LD based business can be self funded as OpenCoin Inc. were with ripple.com (to the tune of 1 billion+)

I agree, that's what most don't see right now. The whole concept of capital is being changed. The color is no longer green, its shape and form is digital and webby, distribution is baked into the Web, and discovery is on an exponential SDQ (Serendipitous Discovery Quotient) [2] curve. 


They had a simple philosophy in conjunction with issuing there own data driven coins (the coins are just shared links and relations)

The links actually denote the relations, that's the neat little AWWW design featur that Linked Data magnifies. RDF just puts icing on the cake by making granularity of Relations eternally extensible, via vocabularies and ontologies. 

1. Create Liquidity
2. Create Utility
3. Create Trust

Now a regular business does all of these.  But there's now new ways to use data to optimize all 3 of these, and I think that's exciting.

Yes!


For example, ripple allows you to set up accounts, trust lines, IOUs and trade via their virtually issued data currency.  Each of these has utility, the more you do it the more trust you get, and liquidity was generated by bootstrapping existing data sets ... so that's smart.  Do note that these operations are about having access controlled read / write access to a data set...

Yep, which is why Identity and Trust have to be webby too. Same thing applies to PKI.



I hope we can find linked data business models that can also do the same!

It's all baked into the platform we know as the World Wide Web. We just need to get folks to understand that the Web is a global platform for putting puzzle pieces together etc. Getting that to resonate is challenging as it requires lots of patience and persistence etc..

Links:


1. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57588253-83/what-is-the-nsas-prism-program-faq/ -- PRISM FAQ
2. http://bit.ly/TWw4Ck -- SDQ.

 

Related:

1. http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=function -- Function (remember, when not void, they return 0 or 1 i.e., True or False)
2. http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=relation -- Relation (a Relation is really a Function)
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identifier -- you have literals or references (e.g., HTTP URIs)
4. http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5988#section-3 -- Links (which denote Relations)
5. http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/diagrams/history/proposal-fig1.gif -- original Web design illustration (note: the "describes" link/relation/connector)
6. http://bit.ly/1bdlBYq -- Data & Relations thread on Ontolog list .





-- 

Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	      
Founder & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen




Kingsley Idehen

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Jun 8, 2013, 11:40:09 AM6/8/13
to business-of-linked-data-bold@googlegroups.com >> business-of-linked-data-bold, publi...@w3.org
On 6/8/13 9:13 AM, ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program wrote:
I am in total agreement with the primary issue, yet it is part of a bigger issue, that of proper usage of any materials in digital format that have intellectual property rights attached to it.

Yes, we can express rights in digital form using Linked Data. We can also make it easier for consumers to adhere to those rights via Linked Data. The whole issue of data access policies is the foundation for this reality.

Recently, HTML5 has made it clear that digital rights management would be enforceable by user agents that opt to make use enhancements in this realm. As per usual, there was misguided uproar from those that overeach with the "Open" agenda by pitching it as "free speech" while knowing that most are simply interested in the "free beer" etc..

"Open" is not the same as "Free" and that's the root of problem that leads to a complete set of unintended consequences whereby those who are supposed to be protected end up being harmed the most.


By redefining business values in terms of intellectual property rights values that can somehow be measures and thus where necessary monetized and compensated for in usage the problem is resolved.

Yes!


As I indicated earlier the open science field cannot flourish without if and we cannot expect current bureaucrats at patent and trademark offices or UN bodies alone to figure this out.

The tens of billions of dollars and euros spent in courts of patent and copy rights infringements are exactly why.

The professionals who do understand the big picture and the nuts and bolts levels must step up to the plate and help out.

Your analysis is a good starting point to create a much more complete and thorough analysis required.

As Linked Data is applied to the concept of resource (data) access policies, the nature of what's possible will become clearer.

Kingsley
 
Milton Ponson
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PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Project Paradigm: A structured approach to bringing the tools for sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide by creating ICT tools for NGOs worldwide and: providing online access to web sites and repositories of data and information for sustainable development

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From: Kingsley Idehen <kid...@openlinksw.com>
To: publi...@w3.org; business-of-linked-data-bold <business-of-li...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2013 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: Business Models, Profitability, and Linked Data

Kingsley Idehen

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Jun 10, 2013, 7:00:10 AM6/10/13
to publi...@w3.org, business-of-linked-data-bold
On 6/10/13 4:18 AM, Leigh Dodds wrote:
> Hi,
>
> On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 5:52 PM, Kingsley Idehen <kid...@openlinksw.com> wrote:
>> There have been a few recent threads on the LOD and Semantic
>> Web mailing lists that boil down to the fundamental issues of
>> profitability, business models, and Linked Data.
>>
>> Situation Analysis
>> ==================
>>
>> Business Model Issue
>> --------------------
>>
>> The problem with "Data"-oriented business models is that you
>> ultimately have to deal with the issue of wholesale data copying
>> without attribution. That's the key issue; everything else is
>> a futile dance around this concern.
> Why do you think that attribution is the key issue with data oriented
> businesses?

Its the key to provenance. It's the key making all contributors to the
data value chain visible.

As I've already stated, the big problem here is wholesale copying and
reproduction without attribution. Every data publisher has to deal with
this problem, at some point, when crafting a data oriented business model.

>
> I've spoken with a number of firms who have business models based on
> data supply and have never once heard attribution being mentioned as
> an issue for themselves or their customers. So I'm curious why you
> think this is a problem.

And are those data suppliers conforming to patterns such as those
associated with publicly available Linked Open Data? Can they provide
open access to data and actually have a functional business model based
on the aforementioned style of data publication?

If data publishers insist on being attributed by keeping the original
URIs intact, you end up with a virtuous system for data publication that
fits nicely into the underlying essence of systems such as the World
Wide Web.

Kingsley
>
> Cheers,
>
> L.
>
> --
> Leigh Dodds
> Freelance Technologist
> Open Data, Linked Data Geek
> t: @ldodds
> w: ldodds.com
> e: le...@ldodds.com

Kingsley Idehen

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Jun 10, 2013, 7:06:27 AM6/10/13
to publi...@w3.org, business-of-linked-data-bold
On 6/10/13 4:26 AM, Víctor Rodríguez Doncel wrote:
>
> While attribution may not be hindering any business, it would be nice
> being able to specify in a machine readable form the way it should be
> made...

Yes.

In the case of DBpedia, we do require the exposure of DBpedia URIs in
derived content. This is achievable in a number of ways as outlined in
the project's imprint section [1].

Links:

1. http://wiki.dbpedia.org/Imprint -- covers attribution best practices
re., keeping DBpedia URIs discoverable to Web user agents.

Kingsley
>
> Víctor
>
> El 10/06/2013 10:18, Leigh Dodds escribió:
>> Hi,
>>
>> On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 5:52 PM, Kingsley Idehen
>> <kid...@openlinksw.com> wrote:
>>> There have been a few recent threads on the LOD and Semantic
>>> Web mailing lists that boil down to the fundamental issues of
>>> profitability, business models, and Linked Data.
>>>
>>> Situation Analysis
>>> ==================
>>>
>>> Business Model Issue
>>> --------------------
>>>
>>> The problem with "Data"-oriented business models is that you
>>> ultimately have to deal with the issue of wholesale data copying
>>> without attribution. That's the key issue; everything else is
>>> a futile dance around this concern.
>> Why do you think that attribution is the key issue with data oriented
>> businesses?
>>
>> I've spoken with a number of firms who have business models based on
>> data supply and have never once heard attribution being mentioned as
>> an issue for themselves or their customers. So I'm curious why you
>> think this is a problem.
>>

Kingsley Idehen

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Jun 11, 2013, 8:15:45 AM6/11/13
to publi...@w3.org, business-of-linked-data-bold
On 6/11/13 7:59 AM, Hugh Glaser wrote:
> On 10 Jun 2013, at 15:07, Kingsley Idehen <kid...@openlinksw.com>
> wrote:
>
>> On 6/10/13 9:06 AM, Leigh Dodds wrote:
>>> Hi,
> <snip snip snip />
>>> Sometimes its important to know how the sausage is made, sometimes its not.
>> You always need to know who made the sausage :-)
>>
>> Kingsley
> I know this is sort of a throw-away remark, but actually, that isn't true, and applies to data as well.
> (And in the UK, it is an interesting question, given that there has recently been a lot of stuff about horse in processed foods.)
> When most people buy sausages they have no idea who made them, and are perfectly happy to buy them.

There is value in being able to triangulate back to who made the
sausage. Remember, this is about business models which boil down to
orchestrating value creation, distribution, and consumption.
> The trust comes from the direct supplier in the supply chain.

Yes, because the actual producer of the sausage is dislocated from said
chain. Today, the Web enables us address the aforementioned dislocation.
That's my fundamental point re. power of HTTP URIs and Linked Data.

> And even when something goes wrong, it is not detected and tracked by provenance of the supply chain, but by forensics.

Forensics and Data differ how? I know of no such thing as forensics that
isn't basically piecing bits of data together en route to insights.
>
> Consumers of data at the most similarly only want to know that the immediate supplier warrants (or whatever) the data.

I am talking about what's possible with Linked Data in relation to
business model, today. Not about what was difficult to attain in a world
where what we have now didn't exist :-)


>
> Best
> Hugh

Kingsley Idehen

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Jun 11, 2013, 9:08:04 AM6/11/13
to publi...@w3.org, business-of-linked-data-bold
On 6/11/13 8:39 AM, Hugh Glaser wrote:
> Sure thing Kingsley.
> As you say, there are things that are now possible that weren't.
> But it doesn't mean they have to be done.
That's a choice.

Some can choose to discover and implement new business model
opportunities via Linked Data. Others can choose to do otherwise.
> I'm just being a bit sceptical.

Fine.

> Forensics: I meant that when something goes wrong in the food chain, it is often things like DNA that have been used, and people jump straight back searching for where the problem might have originated.
> Think of the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak.
> More like data mining than provenance tracking.

I think you are splitting hairs here. My point is that HTTP URIs deliver
many features (implicitly) that aid business models. The webby nature of
Linked Data opens up new data driven business model realities especially
as it enables one surmount the challenges posed by wholesale copying
without a modicum of attribution.

> Similarly, if I see some data (a sentence in an academic paper?) and want to try to find out where it originated, I stuff something into a search engine, rather than follow references.

Again, that's your choice.

> Will that change so much with better provenance tracking and tools to do it?
> I'm not sure.
> Yes, the food analogy has limits, but I quite like it for this one.

I disagree since (IMO) its based on how things used to be rather than
how things can be. I see a world full of Linked Data around which viable
and scalable business models will be devised and executed :-)

Kingsley



>
> Best
> Hugh
>
> On 11 Jun 2013, at 13:15, Kingsley Idehen <kid...@openlinksw.com>
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