Just a Post about Dolphins

So, why do I have a post about Dolphins?

Years ago, I read an article about the challenges of building contextual networks. I wish I had any idea where it was, I’d post a link to the original source. But, since I can’t, I’ll provide the gist of the article:

Context is tricky. Many words have multiple meanings, and we derive meaning from sentences by comparing the word to the words around it. Take, for instance, the term ‘dolphins’. Standing alone, the assumption would be that we’re talking about dolphins swimming in the water. But what if the sentence is, “I really hope the Dolphins win this year.” Now we’re probably talking about the Miami Dolphins. Same word, two completely different contexts.

This has become an important lesson that I’m applying right now in the development of Dashster. Especially on twitter, where you’ve got 140 characters or less to write things out, those elements to determine context get more and more complicated to spot. That’s why I created this post about dolphins, because I want to play around with our new contextual correction method to make sure it’s effective.

Fortunately, Dashster primarily works based on what I’d consider “noun”-discovery. It primarily seeks out #hashtags rather than performing general searching; which is helpful because the assumption is that where there’s one #hashtag, there may be others which will provide a cue in to the actual intent of the message.

For the time being, just rest assured. I’m a fan of the water dolphin. Those guys in Miami – well, I’m a Raiders fan – so Miami can just go ahead and lose.