Timely reality check from Jon Udell -- see the post for related perspectives on WinFS.
Freebase is like Wikipedia in the sense that it’s an open data project. But where Wikipedia is a database of unstructured articles, Freebase is a database of categorized and related items. You can use it to add or edit items and, more ambitiously, to create or extend the categories themselves.
There’s been a lot of discussion about how this approach does or doesn’t match up with the W3C’s vision for the semantic web, and the suite of standards and technologies associated with it. I’ll leave that to the experts and simply reiterate one crucial point. The authors of the semantic web are going to be people, not machines. And people will only want to play the game if it’s easy, natural, and fun.