I wanted to share this concise description of the current debate that is raging regarding the semantic web, courtesy of Curt Hopkins at Read Write Web. He also references an interesting study by Pew Internet Life Project reflects the vast gulf that still exists between experts at both ends of the spectrum.
If you have the time, there is also a very good 15-minute documentary which came to me courtesy of Neil Perkin at FUTURELAB. It provides background on the origins of this debate and offers perspectives of many of the key proponents and critics such as Tim Berners-Lee, Clay Shirky, Chris Dixon, David Weinberger, and Nova Spivack.
Hope you enjoy this deep dive into the semantic web as much as I did. Feel free to give me your thoughts when you come back to the surface! It will be interesting to see whether technological innovation in this space has potential to add a new dimension to research.