Couple of bits of feedback from last night’s post on weblog ontologies. Bill Seitz points out that his Wikilog does in fact have a hierarchical view, the user has to enable it though (via their user settings when they visit Bill’s site). For example the post of his I used as an example yesterday has this hierarchy:

Front Page > Personal Network Architecture > Group Ware > Collaboration Ware > Wiki For Collaboration Ware > Summarizing Is Necessary

I don’t think it is a hierarchy of categories. Bill explains it as “the chain of generations of pages whose creation led to the current page.”

Secondly Bill notes that a key question to building an ontology is asking yourself: what’s the point? This is something I was pondering last night when I went to sleep (dreams being one way I think through technical things…sad as that makes me sound!). I was also thinking about why we put so much effort into organising our weblog sites, when the majority of our readers read our content via an RSS Aggregator – which doesn’t care about the content structure. How long before some bright spark creates an RSS Aggregator that does take into account each publisher’s content ontology? Or maybe the question should be asked the other way round: how long before site developers figure out how to create an RSS feed(s) that represents its home site’s ontology?

Andrew also makes a good point: “The ontologies are nice, but they shouldnít require oodles of work to set up, maintain, and categorize things into.”

Amen to that. This is the drawback to using XTM topic maps – it’s going to require a lot of work to set it up. Same could be said of RDF. Hmm, thinking more…