2 C H A P T E R   1 has been iMode in Japan and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) in Europe, which have set off a landslide of creativity among developers. Metadata enables search engines to get better results with fewer hits, making searches more precise and tailored to the users  needs. Metadata  enables per- sonalization the  current  silver  bullet  of  marketing  prophets.  Metadata  lets you filter out information you do not want (or that you do not want to reach someone). It is really simple to add to a Web site. What is missing is software and services that use it, but those are coming too. However, this way of using metadata is scary to old-economy Chief Informa- tion Officers (CIOs) and Web designers. You are giving control to the users. You are giving information away, and it might decrease the number of hits on your pages. If your company still measures success on the Web in number of hits, fire the Webmaster and the CIO. What matters is not how many people pass your store, but how many people enter and buy. Fewer users may get the information, but they are the right users, and the conversion rate among them will be higher. The irritation of users who get your page when they were searching for some- thing  completely  different  will  also  decrease,  increasing  your  goodwill  by default. Metadata  is  about  relationships.  It  is  about  descriptions  of  resources,  which in  this  context  are  things  which  provide  services:  servers,  database  engines, Webcams,  anything  that  is  providing  information.  When  you  write  a  table  in HyperText Markup Language  (HTML), you have a set of relationships in mind that describes the rows and columns. If this could be formalized in a machine- readable language, the system could use those relationships, too. HTML ver- sion  0.9  was  very  poor  in  most  respects,  compared  to  HTML  4.0.  Yet  it contained  the  core  of  what  was  necessary  to  start  off  the  industry.  In  many respects, Resource Description Framework (RDF) is the same today. The Web today runs on HTML, but it has become an old technology that can only take you so far. You need new technology to enable new services. Indeed, the traditional Web is proving to be a legacy that is hard to overcome. The way information services are used and deployed in the new environment requires a different kind of service than that which is available on the traditional Web: a type of service that is more convenient, easier to use, and faster than the old Web. And, of course, usable and useful on the old Web as well. RDF was developed at the intersection between the knowledge management world and the library metadata world. It is a graph system layered on top of Extensible Markup Language (XML), and thus has two roots: Directed graphs, which are probably more familiar to database programmers; and XML, which is certainly familiar to the large contingent of programmers who have learned it in the last few years. 69528_CH01Ix  4/6/2001 8:15 AM  Page 2