Thursday, 16 July 2009

Leo Sayer made me do it

Over the past 3 years we at Garlik have put a lot of effort into building a state of the art semantic technology platform. We raised millions of pounds from hard nosed VCs, hired brilliant software engineers, bought bucket loads of servers and developed some pretty impressive software.

And then last week, we took the core bit of technology (something called an RDF store for the geeks amongst you) and GAVE IT AWAY!

Yes, we released that software, 4store is it's name, as open source software, free for anyone, anywhere to download and use for whatever they want.

Why one earth did we do that? I hear you ask (not dissimilar to my investors reaction). Simple. Because Leo Sayer told me to. You see, I'm just a boy, giving it all away.

Actually, the real reason is that we want to help the semantic web grow by encouraging as many businesses and other organisations as possible to publish their data in the right way, so that it all links together into one huge web of linked data - the next generation of the web. They need tools to do this, we have those tools, so why not give them away and see what happens? That's how the web itself grew after all.

Within the first 48 hours, thousand people from all over the world have visited and projects are springing up using the software. It's exciting. It makes me feel like dancing.

Sometimes when you do stuff like this, you can feel like a one man band. Nobody knows or understands. Is there anybody out there wanna lend a hand?

p.s. for those of you old enough to remember Leo Sayer, here's a bit of trivia for you. When he was a huge British pop star in the 70's he lived in Richmond...and my grandad, Maurice Christian, used to tune his piano! There, feel free to use that. It may come up in a pub quiz one day.

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