The evolution of Web Content: towards the “contextual thinking”

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An insight into the latest developments of the Web content and the future prospective

Since the dawn of the World Wide Web era, the content was at its core: the idea to link documents/content with hypertext was a sparkle that ignited the birth of the Internet. The use of hypertext, hyperlinks and a page-based model of sharing information, pioneered in the early 90’ with Mosaic and Netscape web browsers, and it defined web content, and therefore the formation of websites. Today, more than ever, the content is the determining element for the definition of web site display and semantic logic.

The importance of content can be summed up in a mythical phrase “Content is King”, referring to the necessity of a website for a original and interesting content, in order to attract and maintain the visitors. The boom of the mobile devices in last few years and the almost global broadband internet coverage, introduced a new dynamics in the web content development. The so called “hand-held computing”, that includes smartphones, portable music devices and tablets, introduced new types of services and features,  based on location, multi-touch user interface, local media, wireless networking APIs, cameras and offline computing, that reshaped the web applications. The context in which these mobile devices are used and the consumer behaviour are determining the dominating content: online video, rich media advertising and marketing, and online games (so called casual games). Furthermore, the new target has become the audience engagement, that requires high-quality content to attract and retain visitors, in both private and corporate domains. The content becomes more and more related to the context, as defined by Gartner research centre, “emerging context-enriched services will use location, presence, social attributes and other environmental information to anticipate an end user’s immediate needs, offering more-sophisticated, situation-aware and usable functions.”

The Social networks offer ideal background for the single user context definition. Connecting corporate web sites with social media allows creation of quality social relations with users, in order to deliver a successful business result. For example, Amazon.com connected to Facebook for social product recommendations: they personalized product recommendations by matching products on their site to products “liked” on Facebook. This is a clear strategy of adapting the web content to the social context provided by users.

The future developments of web content will most certainly go in the direction of “contextual thinking”, making it more flexible, open minded and dynamic. 2013 brought an expansion of visual content, with the popularity of Facebook timelinePinterest and Instagram, that are pushing the brands to think and act visually: we can confirm that are living today the “beautification of the web” era.

Discover the most interesting facts & figures related to the state of the web content in our new infographic

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