There is an interesting discussion going on various blogs about "The Semantic Web". Russel Beattie starts a discussion about it. Les Orchard makes a nice attempt at explaining it on his blog. According to Les, Tim Berners-Lee talked about it on NPR Science. I thought about it a lot when I was running Infoseek Japan and I was thinking about how XML would impact search engines. Thinking about how metadata and schema for metadata will evolve is a very interesting topic. It is as much political and social as it is technical. When you run a search engine, there is a constant trade-off between brute-forcing information indexes and waiting for the metadata. If the sematic web really existed and you could run the queries in a distributed way, you wouldn't REALLY need search engines, at least in the way they are designed now. What's so exciting about blogs and things like RSS is that the community is pushing the metadatification of the sematic web in a way that no standards body or company could ever have done.