Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dare I talk about the semantic web? Prt I

YES I do dare as it's a conversation I have offline often enough (mainly to the dog admittedly as I'm still trying to conceptulise what it truly means and he's a good listener) and then in a meeting with one of my agencies today as my focus drifted it came to me, BOOM, I've been doing bad thinking on this subject. So here goes! The more I've tried to conceptulise it the further from truly understanding the impact it will have on each and every one of us.

A very particular group should start to sit up and take notice, not because of anything I write but because it's gonna hit them like an intercity train if they aren't already thinking on this subject, they're going to lose big and that group is? Business!

Interestingly the world has become much of a flutter with the uknowness of semantic, we've got semantic search, semantic web, we're hearing about semantic marketing, semantic tech and I've even heard somebody use "semantic thinking" in a meeting just as I was taking a sip of tea (shirt ruined to great hilarity). The weird thing for me is that this unknowness quality is at complete odds with what the word actually means, it's derived from the Greek word for token which when accurately translated means MEANING.

So why is it that I say business should be seriously looking at semantic developments right now, well for one it tilts the search paradigm from searching to finding.

OK, not sure you heard me. This is BIG...not searching but finding! I'll give you a moment to ponder that (to my mind is a seismic kind of shift...!) This takes the web we know and turns it upside down, inside out and much much more.

We're entering the time that history will record as the time our wonderful weird web understood intent. No longer will it pick key words and deliver a dumper truck of results back at us, it'll understand the context, it'll discern our intent and will be direct and to the point (on most occasions), it'll pick up our signals - this is MASSIVE.

So you lovely digital folks that work for companies that still don't get that a digital first agenda is not "a nice thing to aim for" or "the digital team are empire building" or even worse "a one size fits all marketing mentality" or as I like to say when I'm being particularly mischievous, marketing that's just "spray and pray". It's actually us ensuring that the bottom line continues to grow.

Companies that don't, can't, or wont accept that the content of today will be worthless tomorrow unless it's super personalised, the days of inert data are over, that information at every level, on every page across every platform has to mean something and that something has to be a real experience, adding real value because your customers out there wont hang around your brand for long if your going to treat them as faceless and all much of a muchness, and this time they'll take their ball home and go and find a brand that wants to really know them.