The Context Web

Brad Feld and John Markoff write about the battle of semantics over what to call the next wave of web/tech applications.

Web 3.0?
The Semantic Web?
The Implicit Web?

I prefer the Context Web.  Or the Contextual Web, though that doesn’t have quite as nice a ring to it.

Let’s look at definitions here (

semantic – "of or relating to meaning in language"
implicit – "capable of being understood from something else though unexpressed : implied"
3.0 – "
The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary."

context – 1
    : the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning

    : the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs : environmentsetting

Context in many ways combines the notions implied by "semantic" and "implicit" to determine the meaning of something by looking at the environment in which it exists.

And that to me is the most exciting and important part of the next wave of solutions we’re starting to see.

When I search for Brad Pitt on the internet, I’m interested in movie reviews and showtimes of upcoming films.  When I search for Brad Feld, I’m interested in descriptions of companies he’s talking about or funding.

When an email comes in, I’m interested in dealing with it in different ways if it’s someone I go to happy hours with on Fridays vs if it’s a customer we’re working on a big deal with. 

When I search for reviews of sushi places in San Francisco, I’m interested in maps and OpenTable listings.  When I search for reviews of El Bulli, I’m interested in plane and hotel information!

These are all the types of contextual distinctions technology is able to draw from us by taking into account who we are and the context in which we look for different types of information.  And I think the context web is a very good way to describe that.

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