I was thinking about metadata this morning, as I often do. (I will leave it to the reader to decide how that reflects upon my psyche.) More to the point, I was trying to think of positive experiences with metadata. As a consumer of digital content, I haven’t had many of those lately.
At its core, metadata has one job to do: help people (or computers) find something based upon a specific need or desire. Nothing more. Nothing less. It could be online. It could be in an asset management system. The function is still the same. When metadata fails, the entire engagement with the user fails.
A pervasive misunderstanding of metadata is revealed in a casual YouTube search… an innocent DVR query… a browse through an app store… really (without exaggeration) at every interaction with digital content of any kind.
Three decades deep into the Internet era, this should not be the case. After all, metadata is nothing new.
As a kid growing up in between the corduroy ridges of 1970’s suburbia, my Sunday morning ritual was to disembowel the newspaper before the adults got to it…