As a NITLE online seminar, NITLE's Director of Research Bryan Alexander gave a great overview of the semantic web and potential applications in academia. It was impressive how much he fit into an hour long session. Today, I was thinking about how this would have made a cool day long workshop, but then we really would have needed to move from the theoretical to the practical.
I think that as more academic content gets marked up semantically, it should change the way we do research. Searching and organizing content as one does academic research should get more sophisticated.
We could start marking up data in our digital collections using RDF. Looks like there is a good way of doing this for creative commons data. Search engines are starting to use this information more.