Tim Oren rants about how metadata is NOT the next big thing. He quotes Cory's 2001 often cited Metacrap rant. Both good rants. But I disagree. I think that blogging tools allows the producer of the content to enter metadata about the micro-content much more easily than ever before. If you're writing about a book, you'll enter the ISBN number because you want to get the cover art and the affiliate link to Amazon. You'll insert the GIS info into a picture you take on your camera phone because it's just one button away. You'll create your FOAF file so you can search for friends of friends near you. I agree that the discussion about the name spaces and the semantics is messy, but I think it's silly to write off metadata as a pipe dream. Have been to All Consuming lately? How do you think that works? MusicBrainz and Creative Commons are also non-metacrap metadata projects.

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hi Joi

worldKit makes use of metadata.
RSS2.0 + the "icbm" namespace for location.

http://www.brainoff.com/worldkit/manualdata.html has the details. Also there is a Radio Userland tool for adding lat/lon to individual weblog posts.

best
Mikel

Joi, I agree with your assessment that there are two factors that Tim is underweighting. One, is the simple fact that there are large bases of individuals that are and will be motivated to “amplify” such content with metadata for their own personal interest. Some will do so because the added meta-information enhances their ability to organize their information more meaningfully relative to their topics of interest. Others will do so because they simply like the communal attributes of sharing and want to enhance the richness of that experience (and let’s face it, for every one creator, there are 25-100 eager recipients of such information).

Two, better tools make the process of incorporating such metadata at a time that is compelling for the consumer-- whether in content creation mode (e.g., writing a blog post), discovery mode (e.g., receipt of an email or encountering a great article on the web) or search mode--much more friction free than in the past, akin to the ease of fonting up a word doc, as Tim alludes to (albeit with a different conclusion).

Joi, I agree with your point, but I think the thing about it is that the various attributes becomes less "meta" and more just the thing itself.

For example, a picture, instead of being a picture with GIS position metadata, becomes a picture and a GIS position--the datatype in effect becomes richer.

I agree to some degree with the various critiques of metadata in that people tend to be lazy or uninterested in attaching separate metadata to content, and also the critique of the idea that metadata schemas can represent the richness of content.

But, what I think you are especially correct about is that it is becoming easier to create "richer" content, including content that comes from metadata oriented vocabularies in the public commons.

Right Jay, in-as-much as the usefuleness of meta-data is in how different people can refer to the same thing (or the same class of things), common vocabularies are now and will be the primary driving force of meta-data creation. All the examples Joi sites are of this form.

Right Jay, in-as-much as the usefuleness of meta-data is in how different people can refer to the same thing (or the same class of things), common vocabularies are now and will be the primary driving force for meta-data creation. All the examples Joi sites are of this form.

The aspect of common vocabulary cannot be overstated. We have metadata now, do a google search, the hits that you use will likely share the vocabulary that was the basis for your search. The Department of Defense has started to accumulate metadata descriptions. Is a Gregg for metadata vocabulary on the way?

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