Exploitation of a Semantic Web of Linked Data, for Publishers

Massive Linked Open Data Cloud (Reference Database), under-exploited by Publishers. (Linking Open Data cloud diagram 2017–08–22, CC-BY-SA by Andrejs Abele, John P. McCrae, Paul Buitelaar, Anja Jentzsch, and Richard Cyganiak. http://lod-cloud.net/)


Every publisher oversees a database that ultimately drives their business. Generally, across all media, these databases are of high quality due to editorial best-practices acquired over many years.

Historically, business models have taken the following forms:

  • Ad Placements in content
  • Subscriptions to Editions (or Episodes)
  • Rentals of Subscriber Lists
  • Controlled Database Access

Unfortunately, most publishers are struggling to find tractable business models in the Web era.


Prior to the Web, advertising was the dominant revenue generator for media publishers. Unfortunately, they have typically not been able to make this business model pivot to the Web.

Controlled access to high quality databases is a massive opportunity that has yet to be exploited by pre-Web publishers, leaving newcomers who lack editorial best-practices to dominate the landscape.

“Fake News” has created an inflection point, allowing us to revisit this nascent opportunity, generally overlooked by pre-Web publishers to date, to profit from controlled access to high quality databases.


  1. Identify key databases
  2. Generate a Semantic Web of Linked Data from key databases
  3. Publish this Linked Data to the Web
  4. Inject Metadata relating Docs to Entities from Semantic Web derived from databases
  5. Expose SPARQL and FCT endpoints
  6. Expose ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET access
  7. Generate Data Access Tickets using duration-constrained X.509 certificates 
     — subscriber profiles (also a subscription driver; i.e., certificates are generated from these profiles)
     — public profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.)
  8. Apply Attribute-Based ACLs to enforce controlled data access terms

Business Benefits?

  1. Hyperlinks identify all entities of relevance — so the meaning of anything is just a click away (i.e., information is at your fingertips, literally!)
  2. Cognitive exploration and navigation of entity relationships (i.e., Data GPS) — via hypermedia-based deductive database documents
  3. Semantic SEO for Semantic Search Agents — better placement on search engine results page (SERPs)
  4. Powerful foundation for exploitation of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, API Economy
  5. Database Quality drives market success (leaving Fake News as a burden to those with limited editorial best-practices)


Some publishing companies have used some variation of what I’ve outlined above to distinguish themselves, including:

How Virtuoso Gets You There

  1. Download and run Virtuoso installer, or instantiate a Virtuoso instance in the cloud
  2. Install the Conductor, Linked Data Middleware (a/k/a “Sponger”), and Faceted Browser modules (VADs)
  3. For additional convenience install the following browser extensions
     — OpenLink Data Explorer (ODE)
     — OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer (OSDS)
     — YouID
  4. Start Loading Data from disparate data sources by
     — Visiting Web Pages and simply clicking on ODE or OSDS to trigger ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) operations
     — Using REST-ful interactions to trigger ETL operations via URIs
  5. Start experiencing the power of a Semantic Web of Linked Data via
     — Faceted Browsing Tool
     — Existing ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET applications
     — SQL and/or SPARQL “Query By Example” Tools.


By following the simple steps outlined above, publishers end up with a powerful point of presence on the Web that exposes the full economic power of high quality database management, while being compensated accordingly.

What do you think?