Leveraging the Wikipedia for Semantic Tagging

I had already written about the phenomenon of folksonomy. Of late, I find myself reaching out to the Wikipedia to define a particular term in my posts. Instead of just saying Jehangir did something, by linking to the Wikpedia page on Emperor Jehangir, I am clearly defining the term. In the semantic web context, I am making an assertion – The Jehangir I am referring to is the Moghul
Emperor Jehangir. I began to imagine – why not treat the Wikipedia as a Tagosphere and let every one link to the Wikipedia page to define the term. This would be the ultimate Semantic Tagging system because no one need wonder whether the Turkey in someone’s post is the country or the bird (this is the classic semantic web example). From here, someone could do a backlink analysis for the terms in the Wikipedia and construct conversation clouds with the Wikipedia term as the anchor. This could be another method of discovering conversations taking place in the Blogosphere. To test this idea, I created a user page in the Wikipedia and
cut/paste the entire list of tags from Del.icio.us/Popular. I
enclosed every tag by “[[” and “]]” which is the Wikipedia
notation for links within Wikipedia. If a particular link does
not have an article associated with it, it turns red – another
Wikipedia convention for articles that need to be written.
I repeated this experiment a few times on different days and
found that except for 2 or 3 tags that appeared in red, all other
Del.icio.us/Popular tags came up as valid links – meaning that,
articles existed in the Wikipedia defining those tags. Taking this one step ahead, Blogging tools could automatically
create links to the Wikipedia to reduce the Blogger’s efforts.
All this may further increase the traffic on the Wikipedia site.
I would think Google or Yahoo or Microsoft or AOL could
probably host the Wikipedia free of charge on their massive
infrastructure in return for the PR benefits and other
intangibles. References:
1. Matt Biddulph at hackdiary has done a fascinating project
on “giving structure to flat lists using the Wikipedia and Yahoo API”. 2. Russell Beattie talks about a similar idea. For some reason he
dismisses the idea of Wikipedia being the tag repository but wants a separate one he calls Tagopedia. 3. Wired News ran an article about an interesting project where the entire BBC news site for a day was updated to include
links to Wikipedia for every proper noun in the news. 4. Adina Levin explains the concept of conversation clouds
(possibly the originator). 5. James Tauber talking about using the Wikipedia as a URI service. 6. David Galbraith on the semantic web.