Talking with Mike Dunn about practical uses of semantic technology

My guest for this week’s Innovators show is Mike Dunn, a veteran media technologist who recently attended, and spoke at, the 2009 Semantic Technology. Mike and I were both impressed by Tom Tague’s keynote talk, which avoided theory and focused on practical ways that here-and-now semantic technologies are helping media businesses work smarter and more profitably. In this conversation, Mike describes some of the ways that his company, Hearst Media Interactive, is proving that point.

Search engine optimization is currently one of the best ways to profit from data-enabled content. Meanwhile, one of the expected benefits of semantic technology — better search recall and precision — hasn’t materialized. But although most users may not care about querying archives more comprehensively and more precisely, writers and editors should. And not only because it helps automate the assembly of context around a current story. If you can review an archive in a precise and comprehensive way, you can do a better job of planning future stories that acknowledge — and advance — the ones you’ve already done.