Along with the new release (0.9.0) of Gnowsis, the Semantic Desktop tool, Leo Sauermann and his team have published a doc on PIMO, their approach to personal information management with the help of ontologies.
I must confess to still not having had a close look at Gnowsis yet, and also of having had the occasional skeptical thought about some of the things they've been doing (XML-RPC, ew!). My first impressions of the PIMO doc were a bit like this, until i noticed one particular thing I believe they've got strongly right. This is the notion that the individual user of the system will have their own personal ontology, derived from a handful of base terms. It applies to classes too, but I like this wording re. properties:
The user creates describing properties on the go. If a new property is needed, it is instantly created. There is no strong domain/range typing, if the user wants to use the property in an "unintended" way, the user is always right to do so.
Though I was approaching it from a different direction (more like mindmapping than PIM) I'd come to essentially the same conclusion when working on IdeaGraph (later...). For a personal knowledge management tool, the priority is to model the individual's world view with transparent interfaces, in advance of any merging/alignment of ontologies. The better the former, the more valuable the latter.
Anyhow the enthusiasm here is great, I'm looking forward to bumping into Leo at one of the SemWebby events.
PS. At a slight tangent ( knowledge...brain, whassup?) a couple of stunning query examples just appeared on the public-semweb-lifesci list -
Find the receptors contained in the apical dendrite compartment of all types of pyramidal neurons in the neocortex which have been measured for anionic sodium current having a voltage threshold of at least -35 mV.
Give me all images of medium spiny neuron tract-traces and histology of surrounding regions from the Parkinson's alpha-synuclein mouse model.