September 09, 2004
Metadata, It's The New Black
Now go read this article about the Flickr service that features prominently in the metafilter story. Be sure to notice the sweet use of metadata (keywords, essentially) to organize and discover photos. Tufte would be so proud of the visual display of the 150 most popular keywords. Classification from the ground up! And people are actually participating! And the keyword list isn't degenerating into an unwieldy mess because people are availing themselves of the opportunity at the point of applying each keyword to verify its conformance to the collectively developed vocabulary! All of you friends of mine out there posting your photos to various other services need to immediately switch to Flickr. Go! Do it Now!
Now check out the Metametadata flickr photo, with keywords.
Now read Rawbrick's take on collaborative metadata use and possible models for incorporating library training. Notice how the confirmation service Flickr has cooked into its metadata production process seems to try to programmatically occupy the middle ground Rawbrick defines. This is the stuff that gets me excited. I share Rawbrick's desire to see this space occupied by folks like us and love to see projects recognize the necessity. I think that this sort of thing is the true future of librarianship. Just a bunch of total geeks who can't get enough of information organization monitoring the infernet, making sure everyone is having a good time. Of course metafilter, flicker and other internet community services are totally beating librarians to the punch.
Yep, Librarians will one day rule the world. And the business community is starting to catch on (via Catalogablog). Of course they're making it overly complicated. I'm not sure an ur-element set is even feasible, much less warranted. This is almost sacrilege coming from a professionally trained librarian. We librarians love our standards and our master lists, but I don't think that this is the road to interoperability. I think that rdf and the semantic web will wind up not trying to make a master list of element definitions to which each individually developed metadata set will have to map. Rather semantic agreement will happen at a much lower level of communication.Posted by Keeper of the Blog at September 9, 2004 11:37 AM