FreeBase – A Wikipedia For Software

July 15, 2007


FreeBase – A Wikipedia For Software

The last time I was this excited about anything web-related was when I first encountered DotNetNuke in 2003. Last week, when I finally got a chance to check-out the FreeBase alpha, I was euphoric. Finally, a structured way to access and query all the knowledge in the world. If you have not yet checked it out, don’t wait another minute. FreeBase is one of those “first time I used a web browser”-type moments…they are rare and life-changing.

What’s so great about FreeBase you ask? is home to a global knowledge base: a structured, searchable, writeable and editable database built by a community of contributors, and open to everyone.  It could be described as a data commons. is enabled by the technology of Metaweb, which is described at

That about sums it up. As a developer, I am quite excited about the prospect of being able to create applications that integrate structured data of this scale. I spent some time exploring the data that’s already been loaded and the API and I must say, MetaWeb has done a great job with the UI and the documentation. Sure, it’s an alpha, and there are lots of holes, but overall everything just works intuitively.

I’m not sure how much of the site is publicly accessible, but here’s a video that gives a pretty good overview:

I’m going to take a shot at creating a simple FreeBase app using .Net later this week. I’ll document the process as best as I can. Stay tuned.

Founder NftyDreams; founder Decentology; co-founder DNN Software; educator; Open Source proponent; Microsoft MVP; tech geek; creative thinker; husband; dad. Personal blog: Twitter: @techbubble
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