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May 28, 2009

SEMJ.org Promotes Semantic Search Education

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As a full-time media junkie, I like to keep up with the news in the search industry. One resource I rely on is the Search Engine Marketing Journal. SEMJ.org is a quarterly academic journal with papers on just about every aspect of doing business online. Topics like conversion and landing page optimization, SEO, analytics, international search, paid search, Web development, social media and mobile marketing are all there.

SEMJ.org logo

SEMJ.org was founded by Sean Golliher in 2007 and quickly became an industry authority, attracting renowned experts like Tim Ash, Avinash Kaushik and Eric Enge as editors. [Ahem? –Susan] Oh yes, Bruce and Susan too! Recently Google’s Maile Ohye joined SEMJ.org’s advisory board. Considering the blue blood and sweat running through the pages of the journal, you can understand why I pay attention to what Sean and the SEMJ.org crew are doing.

Well, today my antennae perked up when I saw that SEMJ.org was promoting and planning to attend the Semantic Technology Conference in San Jose mid-June.

I talked to Sean and he helped me see why semantic search education is such an important investment today:

“As a company that does search marketing research we try to look forward as much as possible, and we follow papers by researchers and conferences very closely. There has been a large movement developing with internet researchers over the last couple years regarding the semantic web. Microformats, linked data, resource description framework (RDFa), etc. Like Tim Berners-Lee has been preaching, web documents that link to each other through hyperlinks are ‘just the tip of the iceberg.’ There are an estimated 25 billion triplets (RDF descriptions) of data on the web now and this is supposedly a 50 x increase from the previous year. Multiply this again by 50 and you can see where this may be going.”

Sean’s aim has always been to advocate research and education in the search marketing industry and to give SEMJ.org readers an edge in the marketing environment of the future. Partnering with the SemTech Conference serves both those goals.

The five-day conference will take place June 14-18 at the Fairmont in San Jose. In its fifth year, the annual conference boasts that it’s the most extensive event on semantic technologies, spanning from business to government to consumer activity. With semantic technologies and linked data promising to hold a prominent place in the future of search and the Web, software developers and marketers would be well served to learn about semantic Web technologies.

Sure, I don’t yet understand what makes the semantic Web tick. Like most, I’ve heard the term bandied about a lot in the past few years, but listening and understanding are two different beasts. Luckily, it’s still early in the life of semantic Web technology, and getting in on the SemTech Conference couldn’t be easier or less expensive than it is now. SEMJ.org is offering registration for Semantic Search Day, June 17, at a cost of $95 when you register with the code SEMJ. While semantic search technology is still emerging, we can do ourselves a favor and give our understanding a jump-start.

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