Bridging Two Worlds

Over on Nodalities, my colleague Paul Miller asks how can we bridge the world of the semantic web theoreticians and the practitioners:

There are plenty of examples of big companies such as IBM, HP or BT that maintain well-resourced research groups and encourage them to engage with academic processes and ways of working, but how much of the innovation we all need to know about is actually happening in far smaller organisations such as my own? How many of those smaller organisations can seriously look to invest the effort in writing lengthy papers on their real-world implementations of the Semantic Web so far ahead of the date on which they may - or may not - be invited to speak? The conference poster session is little better; one of many crammed into a room, trying to attract the attention of delegates more intent on their coffee, discussing the last presentation they saw, or catching up with friends they haven't seen since last year's event? The barrier isn't the preparation and delivery of a compelling, engaging and informative plenary presentation. The barrier is the hurdle of the printed paper, and the requirement that it be delivered so far ahead of time for 'publication' in a locked box to which neither your employer nor your peers are likely to subscribe.

Having had the good fortune of recently attending both the recent Semantic Web and the Web 2.0 conference the division between the two worlds has been at the forefront of my mind. To my mind XTech has always been the conference where these worlds pass closest in their orbits, but Paul makes an interesting suggestion: is ESWC a place to build a better bridge?

My question is: What would need to change for this to happen?


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