Powerset, Metaweb, and Radar Networks share many similarities: we’re semantic technology companies, we’re building bleeding edge products, we employ a small army of PhDs, and our offices are within a couple blocks of each other in the SOMA district of San Francisco. With such geographic and conceptual proximity, Powerset’s co-founder and CTO Barney Pell suggested that we start referring to the neighborhood as SEMA, or the Semantic Technology Area.

For an inaugural SEMA event, Powerset decided to host the first Semantic Technology Happy Hour last night. In addition to sizable contingents from the core Trinity, this Happy Hour included guest representatives from BooRah and TrueKnowledge, who will both be on a panel with Powerset at next week’s AltSearchEngines Get Together. A few members of the press also were present. In particular, Dan Farber wrote a great article on his blog about the event.

Semantic Web Happy Hour

Overall, the format was casual and focused on building personal relationships among the represented companies. As you can imagine in a group with a high median IQ, conversations tended to be spectacularly geeky. TrueKnowledge gave us a peek under the hood of its beta and Powerset demonstrated our integration to Freebase. At one point, a group stood in front of the computer and threw out queries to see all of the different Freebase types that Powerset can handle. After being lubricated by a drink or two, inter-company gaming commenced, featuring pool, foosball, and ping pong. A few of the hardcore folks from Powerset and Metaweb ended up at the Hotel Utah for after hours merrymaking.

In the spirit of building the semantic technology community, there will likely be a follow-up event in the next few months. If you’re a semantic technology company, especially in SEMA, contact me (mark AT powerset.com) if you’d like to be included in the next iteration of the Semantic Technology Happy Hour.