There was plenty talked about at SXSW Interactive, and for the most part, it was reaffirming my existing knowledge more than anything else. One thing that did stand out, and that I’ve found myself talking about since I’ve returned, is this whole concept of a Context Layer to sit on top of all the content that exists on the web, and specifically in relation to Location.
This is isn’t something new or revolutionary, but it makes sense in feeling like the logical next step.
We’ve already seen Web 2.0 push personalisation, and the Social Web push relevance via social graphs [no doubt this will continue *cough* +1 *cough*], but utilising location, especially through mobiles, is still in its infancy.
Google’s Marissa Mayer spoke at SXSW about contextual discovery attached to location on mobile devices, and how the mobile bridges the Online and Offline worlds. She demonstrated Hotpot + Maps for food recommendations, and it worked nicely, but reading up on what she said about contextual discovery in this earlier TechCrunch interview makes it even more intesting.
“The idea is to push information to people,” Mayer said. She noted that on mobile devices this is particularly interesting because location can provide context. One example she gave was a menu when you’re in a particular restaurant. It would be great to show up and see that on your device — maybe with a bit of social flavor based on what your friends like, she added.
I have no idea if I’ll be using it in Google’s form, especially with Foursquare’s Explore [trends + recommendations via social graph + stats] absolutely killing it, but I do like the idea of the context layer for location. Who knows what awaits at SXSW 2012 in this space?!