Sunday, April 15, 2007

Okay Metaweb, I'm convinced

After much examination and use, I'm convinced that Metaweb's got it right with Freebase. I think that Freebase has the potential to solve a lot of problems for developers and users.

Brilliant idea
A few weeks before Freebase was announced, I had a brilliant idea. "Wikipedia is great and all, but if I could create a system where the computer can actually understand facts and make them useful, that would be extremely powerful." So for weeks I brainstormed how to create such a system. I learned a lot. I realized that this would take a lot of time but I was ready to undergo the challenge.

In comes Freebase
In comes Freebase. I was skeptical at first but, after getting and invite and trying it out, I realized "why create your own system when you've got a well thought out, open, free, developer-friendly system available." The more I used Freebase, the more I liked it and the more I realized how well thought out it was.

Developers that care
The people making Freebase really care about developers. They've created a lot of good resources and tools to learn the MQL query language and, in my experience, they are extremely responsive and helpful when it comes to blog comments and their mailing list. They also seem to be really nice people.

I don't wonder why Metaweb cares so much about developers. After all, it will be real-world web apps that will showcase the real power of Freebase. It will be exciting to see what kind of new Freebase-enabled functionality developers will put in their web apps.

Awesome licensing
Why not use Freebase? Its free. Freebase is under the creative commons license so anybody can use the information for free as long as they link back to Freebase. It is an awesome resource just waiting to be plugged into.

So... all aboard
So I'm jumping on. I think there are a lot of cool ways I can use Freebase in LearnIt. There may also be some ways LearnIt can contribute to Freebase. The more successful Freebase is, the more valuable a resource it will be so it is my interest to help Freebase in any way I can.