While perusing the minutes of today’s w3c egov telecon I noticed mention of Tim Berners-Lee’s Bag of Chips talk at the gov2.0 expo last week in Washington, DC. I actually enjoyed the talk not so much for the bag-of-chips example (which is good), but for the examination of Linked Data as part of a continuum of web publishing activities associated with gold stars, like the ones you got in school. Here they are:

make your stuff available on the web (whatever format)
★★ make it available as structured data (e.g. excel instead of image scan of a table)
★★★ non-proprietary format (e.g. csv instead of excel)
★★★★ use URLs to identify things, so that people can point at your stuff
★★★★★ link your data to other people’s data to provide context

I think it’s helpful to think of Linked Data in this context, and not to minimize (or trivialize) the effort and the importance of getting the first 3 stars. It was interesting that he didn’t mention RDF once (unless I missed it) and talked instead about Linked Data Format. Correction he did mention it, thanks Anders.

The inclusiveness and ambiguity appeals to me.