libraries | play | information | media | policy | culture


Context Is King

The current digital information environment emphasizes context over content. As Google has shown, a critical mass of content and user data will overcome quality, producing search results that are, if not the best, at least good enough. Plus the results come fast. And social computing brings trust into the equation through such tools as Digg and, making referrals again relevant, making the individual again relevant.

Within this digital environment, function and behavior become the two main components of context. Once a tool meets—or transforms—behavior patterns through its functionality, the tool becomes commonplace and dominant. How do people want to find, access, capture, use, and reuse information? The organization and tool that answers this question wins.

Context has always been king, though. Consider, for instance, academic journal publishing. Publishers have long thrived by providing a context for scholarly communication. The content itself was not the commodity; after all, academic authors have rarely been paid for their academic articles. How the content was delivered and what future content it spawned were what were valuable. Content without context really never has been enough.

No comments: