PLATFORMIZING KNOWLEDGE: MESS AND MEANING IN WEB 3.0 INFRASTRUCTURES
This panel focuses on the way that platforms have become key players in the representation of knowledge. Recently, there have been calls to combine infrastructure and platform-based frameworks to understand the nature of information exchange on the web through digital tools for knowledge sharing. The present panel builds and extends work on platform and infrastructure studies in what has been referred to as “knowledge as programmable object” (Plantin, et al., 2018), specifically focusing on how metadata and semantic information are shaped and exchanged in specific web contexts. As Bucher (2012; 2013) and Helmond (2015) show, data portability in the context of web platforms requires a certain level of semantic annotation. Semantic interoperability is the defining feature of so-called "Web 3.0"—traditionally referred to as the semantic web (Antoniou et al, 2012; Szeredi et al, 2014). Since its inception, the semantic web has privileged the status of metadata for providing the fine-grained levels of contextual expressivity needed for machine-readable web data, and can be found in products as diverse as Google's Knowledge Graph, online research repositories like Figshare, and other sources that engage in platformizing knowledge. The first paper in this panel examines the international Schema.org collaboration. The second paper investigates the epistemological implications when platforms organize data sharing. The third paper argues for the use of patents to inform research methodologies for understanding knowledge graphs. The fourth paper discusses private platforms’ extraction and collection of user metadata and the enclosure of data access.