I said that I would write about what is happening with Talk Digger and Ping the Semantic Web in the last month, so I am now taking some time to start to write the story.

In September Kingsley Idehen, CEO of OpenLink Software Inc., contacted me to talk about my projects, the database management system developed by OpenLink (called Virtuoso) and the Semantic Web.

Our talks leaded us in a direction that I unanticipated: we started to talk about creating a company that would develop both Talk Digger and Ping the Semantic Web projects. So far these two projects were prototypes I was developing to test my ideas, to help the adoption of the semantic web and to learn.

Creating a company in partnership with OpenLink would give me the possibility to get the resources to develop these two projects in a professional way: giving me the time, the computer infrastructure and the human resources to develop, extend, refine and enhance these two services. All that for the benefit of my users: to enhance their experience with the systems.

After one month of discussion we created a company called ZitGist (pronounced: Zeitgist) that would own and develop both Talkdigger and Ping the Semantic Web. The legal entity is now created, but much work have do be done in the next weeks (releasing the website and logo, publishing the official press release, etc).

Both OpenLink Software Inc. and me are members of ZitGist. However , I didn’t closed the deal only to have financial resources to develop my projects. In fact, a big part of OpenLink’s investments in the project is their Virtuoso DBMS. This database system will replace the current one used in both projects (MySQL) and will increase their capabilities in many ways. I will write about the integration of Virtuoso in both systems later, but I can guarantee you that the decision goes in the mission I gave me more than one month ago:

This vision is drove by a personal goal: make the semantic web a reality. This is ambitious and probably arrogant: I know. “Who dares win” a SAS motto says. It is what I will do: dare.

Do I have a chance to reach my goal? I hope so, but I have no idea. The only thing I know is that it will be a reality only if everybody tries to do a little thing in that direction; there is the little things I will try do to:

  • Make Talk Digger results computer processable
  • Develop semantic web applications that will interact with the Talk Digger system
  • Write about the subject in such a way that any Internet users will understand
  • Educate people to this future reality through writings and oral presentations

This vision drove my last year and there is where I am. The implementation of Virtuoso in both Talk Digger and Ping the Semantic Web, the creation of ZitGist and my partnership with OpenLink have been took accordingly to that vision.

In the next days I’ll write more about ZitGist, the new vision of Talk Digger and Ping the Semantic Web, the deployment of Virtuoso and the new possibilities (features) it will enable.

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2 thoughts on “Talk Digger and Ping the Semantic Web became ZitGist

  1. Congrats Fred,

    This is really amazing news. Congrats and do keep me (us) updated.


  2. Hi Surdar!

    Long time I didn’t had news from you!

    Yeah it is a really great news for me and for TD and PTSW users (since the services will evolve a lot in the next months/years). I am quite happy to have the possibility to push the evolution of both services in the semantic web paradigm.

    Take care,


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