Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Freebase, currently in alpha, is a open-structured-free-online-searchable knowledgebase created wiki style. It is the first use of technology Metaweb has created to "allow extremely large volumes of data to be collected, organized, connected and modified by a community of contributors, developers, publishers, and people who just plain like data". The freebase developers are going to be posting about how Freebase works in their developer blog which should be some interesting reading.

I am not sure exactly what to think about freebase. If it catches on then it could open up a lot of new opportunities for search and web applications. Actually, just a few weeks before freebase was made public, I had a very similar idea as part of the backend of LearnIt. For the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about how to do something like Freebase. So Freebase may effect LearnIt.

Here are the questions floating around in my mind:

Should I go ahead and try to develop my own Freebase-yet-kind-of-different backend for LearnIt? Or should I just jump on the Freebase bandwagon, whatever that may be... Which leads to another question.

Whats the deal with the Freebase API. How does the API for giving them information work and how does it work to extract information. And are there any strings attached... Which leads to my last question.

What is the Freebase business model? They got funded, but how is this going to make Metaweb profit? As far as I know there aren't any ads. They say the API is free. But then somewhere else they mentioned that some fees may apply (now I can't find the link).

UPDATE: Freebase also has a non-developer blog.