Metadata – what does this mean to you?

26 Jun

I have heard people saying cataloging is dead now, with metadata being the new sexy direction.

To me they are the same thing.
So I’m interested in what “metadata” means to you?

How do you use it?
How seriously are you committed to it?

Sevetal years ago loading photos onto Flickr I got bored taking time for descriptors, adding pottery to every picture in my folder of pictures of craft. I got lazy.

Then I went to a library conference where the always provocative @malbooth pointed out that if as information professionals we weren’t adding tags, locations, any descriptors the medium offered to the information we were posting, then we weren’t serious about our profession. I was annoyed at him; and then I decided he was right. So I add in where I am on all  my Instagram posts, and use meaningful hashtags in my tweets. 

However writing this blog post I realised that the new Facebook tags that pop up (politics, world news, food, work & money) irritate me because I feel controlled and so I have rejected them. Additional tags on my blog posts other than my arbitrary thoughts/library offering would also help people find posts directly relevant to them. 

So I guess I need to think more about whether I am trying to share information or just vent.

Sharing requires the work of metadata. 

What does metadata mean to you

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2 Responses to “Metadata – what does this mean to you?”

  1. Lise June 26, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    Metadata is data about data, so your comments about cataloguing being metadata is spot on.
    I’m also not a fan of the FB tags. The reason being, that they are arbitrary, chosen by an algorithm, not someone with an understanding of the content, and because they do not add value to my posts. I’m never going to search ‘spiritual’ for my response to Brexit, for example.

    • Ruth Baxter June 26, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

      That captures how I feel Lise; however my rebellion does limit others finding my stuff so I’ve realised where I do want to communicate I need to use all the metadata options offered.

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