Surviving in a world without context

You can use the article element in HTML5 to mark chunks of your web page as standalone content. Example:

<article>
   <h1>title1</h1>
   content
</article>

<article>
   <h1>title2</h1>
   content
</article>

Aside from organizing the content of a page, the article element helps machines work with the page. To reduce clutter, for example, you could instruct mobile browsers to only display the articles in the document. Or in the future, a browser maker could add a feature to their Print dialog box that lets users print any or all of the articles in a document rather than full pages.

Not all content can be article-ized. The HTML5 Edition for Web Developers specifies that the article element “represents a self-contained composition in a document, page, application, or site and that is, in principle, independently distributable or reusable, e.g. in syndication. This could be a forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a blog entry, a user-submitted comment, an interactive widget or gadget, or any other independent item of content.”

To determine if a piece of content is article-worthy, I apply the Facebook test. If a web crawler scraped the piece of content from my page, could somebody share the content (or a link to it) on Facebook? In other words, could the content survive in a world without context?

More information on the article element: