That’s a C word
But we already do a bunch
 of things around context
So what else can we do?
So what’s changed?
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The C Word


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Talk I gave at Web Developers Conference 2009, looking at how context can (and does) change what we produce.

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  • Brief introduction, first time, etc
  • Introduction, get in touch
  • What have I done? Why am I here?
  • For the last 10 years, content has been king
    While that’s still true, the picture is more complicated than that
  • My C word is context.
    You need great content but in order to present it effectively
    and to wrap our heads around what we can do and what will happen with our content increasingly, it’s worth me going over what I mean by this.
    1. The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.
    2. The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting.
  • Is the precise geographical location relevant?
  • Are you at a specific location?
    Are you available online - virtual presence?
  • We know about the iPhone but what can the numerous other form factors and functionalities bring?
    E-paper? The LG watch phone? Traditional phones, netbooks...
  • Does your content have any merit to be included within someones social graph?
    Does it make sense that what you’re producing could be easily shared within social network?
    Is it the kind of data someone might need to take away as part of social activities?
  • Where have your visitors come from?
    Which sites have they viewed? Should this affect the presentation of your content?
    Cookies - returning visitors?
  • Meta data on images - EXIF, IPTC for example
  • What’s changed?

    Does your content have any bearing on other social media sites - linking up with functionality or content from other networks?
    Are elements from SM sites a valid part of your content?
  • Now we’re getting devices that are really capable of decent mobile experience and a good level of usage, we need to address what we can do to cater for the best range of these devices.
  • With so much content out there, aggregators were/are a solution. Pull it all together, then filter. Cache it centrally and interrogate.
  • From friendfeed and twitter the idea of information on the web being displayed in real-time is gaining traction. For certain kinds of information, this can work well but what effect will it have on how we display and consume information?
  • Design is key but it frames, presents & works with the content.
    What happens when you lose this frame?
  • Drop your stylesheets.
    Check out how it looks through an RSS reader.
    Content available through APIs - don’t drop meta data or anything to give it context away from your site.
  • Consider what it is we’re producing and learn to not entirely rely on our well crafted design.
  • There is context both within the content, implied - mentioned and explicit, links out to more information - this is what we mean.
    We can interpret the context of what is written about but machines cannot.
  • The semantic web is likely to appear in a diluted state.
    Semantic search/systems are data and processing intensive.
    Machines trying to replicate our innate skills.
    RDFa and microformats try to redress this by being more explicit.
  • We should explore some of the meta information about the content we’re producing, not just text but images and video.
    Who, what, why, where and when and with what in the case of images.
    EXIF, IPTC for images.
  • Guardian - meta data on screen about the authors and places. Only authors linked up so far...
    Article history.
    Flickr using data about images - geo-coding, etc
    Yahoo!’s SearchMoney - grabbing microformats (and RDFa) to pull more interesting data into results.
  • So maybe this changes our workflow?
    Look over whichever contexts are relevant.
    How does attending to these through the design and development stages change what we produce?
    Consider context as part of the planing of the site
    How will the content work/hold-up inside and outside the context of the design?
    Which contexts are relevant to what the content is (and who it is intended for)?
    Location is a great example - it might not be immediately apparent but maybe geography is relevant to what you produce.  Mark it up
    How can contexts such as location change the way we build si
  • Give ammo to search engines as they continually improve
    Offers up data that can be interpreted and repurposed more easily - mashups
    Makes every site a greater depth of resource
    Allows us to move towards technologies such as Augmented Reality while still creating more traditional sites
    AG brings in LBS and spatial awareness to super-impose data objects on the real world - why not the data/content you create?
    Helps us to work out how to measure success beyond page views
    Different contexts may have access to the data/content through different means and perhaps we can track some of this?
  • The C Word

    1. 1. That’s a C word
    2. 2. But we already do a bunch of things around context
    3. 3. So what else can we do?
    4. 4. So what’s changed?
    5. 5. !
    6. 6. argh!
    1. A particular slide catching your eye?

      Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.