Semantic: of, pertaining to, or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols. (Dictionary.com)
What is the big deal about semantics and the web? Seems like every day there is a new article or book or blog referring to the semantic web or semantic understanding, or even such drivel as “meaning-based computing”. Computers don’t discern “meaning”. They help humans discern meaning.
The importance of this can be understood best for business in the context of the vast amount of information generated each day by enterprises worldwide. I won’t bother to cite the statistics but you can link to some interesting ones here.
This incredible corpus of information, and its rapid growth, present a challenge to the enterprise = “how does a company or government or academic institution organize, add value, extract value, and collaborate with the intellectual property represented by this information?”
You can’t rely on your computers to understand the “meaning” of the information and data, but you can expect that your computing resources can deliver more relevant and appropriate information based on your needs, and based on the relationships inherent in the data set or corpus. This is sometimes referred to as “semantic navigation”. Here’s the perfect marketing example: your web site. It has thousands of pages, hundreds of constituents, perhaps millions of words. Yet, you want it to deliver the right information to the visitor at the right time for the right reason – the reason they are visiting in the first place. Semantic Navigation can help. By creating a new way of organizing the visitor’s search results, they can more easily and quickly find the most relevant and engaging content on your site. Every corporate site, whether B2B or B2C can use this, and should be. There is a straightforward and quick video that does a good job of explaining this on the Semantic Navigation page here.
At OpenText we see significant and enduring impact on our web visitor metrics after installing Semantic Navigation on OpenText.com.