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Friday, August 21, 2009

St. Louis Social Media Club Panel Tackles the Future of the Web

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:13 AM

The Social Media Club Panel for August
  • The Social Media Club Panel for August
The St. Louis Social Media Club had their August meeting last night. It was likely their geekiest panel yet with four developers speculating as to what the Web might look like in five years. Basically it became a discussion of the "Semantic Web."

The panel included Ken Sipe, Clint Edmonson, Brad Nunnally, and Micah Herstand and was moderated by Scott Spradlin.

Moderator Scott Spradlin
  • Moderator Scott Spradlin
The Semantic Web is simply a way for computers to understand and recognize data relationships the way we do. The subject drew some skepticism from audience members who noted that building a Semantic Web will take developers years -- if not decades -- to to actually build.

There was also a discussion of privacy and where privacy issues might be in the future. A particularly interesting question in this regard came when someone asked the panel if it would be possible for the NSA to link up all our personal data from the internet in a way that made us easily traceable. The question drew a loud "They have!" from a guy in the audience who claimed to be a former NSA employee.

Over all, it was a good panel -- if a little unfocused. If you attended looking for specific answers to what the Web might actually look like in five years, you might have left a little disappointed. But then, even the experts don't have a crystal ball. The best they can do is offer what they think are the most interesting and promising new technologies and speculate where those might take us.

The monthly Social Media Club meetings seem to always be well attended. Around fifty people came out for last night's forum. And like a lot of conferences, many of the best conversations took place after the panel discussion. Just eavesdropping on some of these post-panel conversations makes the meetings worth attending.

The panel discussion was streamed and recorded on Ustream. If you're interested you can catch a replay of the whole thing here.

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