I've been at the 2014 Extended (formerly European) Semantic Web Conference (ESWC) in Anissaras, Greece for
four days now. My reason for attending was to present my paper Seeding structured data by default in open source library systems
It has been fantastic. As a librarian attending a conference dominated by
computer science academics, I was met with genuine interest in my work on
expressing schema.org metadata via RDFa in library catalogue web pages. Despite
my relative inexperience in this milieu of PhD candidates and faculty, I was
able to participate productively in the opening workshops and tutorials, and
enjoyed the keynotes and panel sessions (I'll happily admit, though, that I was
out of my depth in many of the main track sessions). And I was welcomed into
(and enjoyed) social events and situations, something I tend to worry about
when joining a new community.
After many discussions, and particularly after attending the cleverly named SALAD2014 (Services and
Applications over Linked APIs and Data) workshop and the keynote on day one by
Stefan Staab, my hope for
many of the promises of the Semantic Web proper has been rekindled. The
awareness amongst attendees of the need for pragmatism--support for developers
and actual results--beyond just the interesting academic research.
These are good people, and this is a good community. Conference: recommended!