‘Browse Widening’ at BestBuy.com

Jay Myers, Best Buy’s lead web development engineer, has been a vital part of the implementation of semantic web technologies into bestbuy.com, a subject our own Jennifer Zaino discussed with Myers a few months back. Now Myers is quite literally broadening his work with a project that started with “browse widening.”

According to Myers, “The basic aim of the browse widening project is, well, to make the site wider (groundbreaking, I know). Because this activity (in theory) should take a dev about 5 minutes to accomplish, we have decided to stick a couple of extra nuggets into the “requirements” of the project. As part of my ongoing passion to turn bestbuy.com into the most data-rich website on the planet, I am augmenting the site’s HTML with RDFa and vocabularies like GoodRelations, vCard, and Google’s review vocab, integrating rich product and store data directly into the front-end user experience to maximize the machine extractability and readability while preserving the visual user experience as it stands today.”

Myers continues by getting into the technical aspects of his work, commenting that “To the average HTML layperson, this markup might not equate to much. But let me assure you, there is some very interesting and powerful data modeling at work here, delivered directly through the HTML markup.” See the full article to take a look at the work Myers is doing. Or, if you’re a layperson like me, trust that “Using these methods enables the unleashing of important data on the web that provides machines with a greater visibility and understanding of the products, goods and services we offer -- all without an API key. We're not stopping at Product Availability -- keep your eyes open for our next iteration where we will enable the smartest search results pages using RDFa and friendly ‘shop’ URLs.”

Image: Courtesy bestbuy.com