the W3C announced yesterday that the Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group has been officially launched. in case you're interested, the proposed charter is a great starting point to learn more. i am happy and proud to be listed as a proposed co-chair of the WG (together with IBM's arnaud le hors). i think this activity will be a pivotal point in the development of linked data, and interestingly, the driving force behind the working group has been the fact that linked data is probably considerably more interesting as a BI-like data integration platform than it is as an AI-like ontology/inference technology, and it's great to see that such a pragmatic view now has become the driving factor behind something as substantial as a W3C working group.
personally, what makes me most hopeful for the future of linked data on a much larger scale than so far is the very open attitude towards REST as expressed in the charter. this means that REST with its focus on encapsulating interaction semantics in media types now is readily available as a toolkit on which linked data can build. over are the days where every last bit in a linked data scenario had to be RDF, and if it were not, then things could not be linked data. this open attitude means that linked data now can grow much faster, can be more inclusive in its choice of components, and does not have to reinvent the wheel for every little piece of machinery that has to be put in place. most importantly, real-world developers will be able to ease into linked data comfortably, first finding a feed providing interesting data and useful services around it (updates, notification services, push services, ...), then happily using its entry-level metadata, and once they decide they really have found something of interest and value, they will encounter RDF when they dive into the actual payload.
linked data is a data model, and REST is an interaction model, and as such they are two nicely complementary parts. while it will be important to make sure that the data model itself is maintained at the payload level, many of the issues listed in the charter can be readily addressed by choosing existing and well-established standardized components (3/4/5/9/10/11 likely can be solved by using a combination of RFCs 4287/5005/5023 and some best practices how to use them). however, other issues may go right to the heart of RDF (for example the question of how to handle RDF granularity so that
RDF documents become part of RDF's model). whatever exactly we will be able to address and achieve in the group, i am really looking forward to pragmatically combine linked data and REST, and i hope i will be part of an activity that will take linked data from being the 1% of how people handle data integration and big data, to being the 99%.