We all know data is the raw information itself. For example, the photograph or even this content you are reading this very instant, is data. So let’s talk about the content of this post. What kind of information is it? Can you tell me more about it before I read on?
Meta-data is information about the data. The type of content (text and often some images); categories and tags the author gives a post; name of the author; the date/time that it was published; are just a few of examples of meta-data. Another brilliant example is the meta-data associated with a photo on flickr.
A great failing of most web browser and management software is its inability to allow people to easily organize and reorganise information, to catalogue and sort it, thereby attaching their own metadata to it. (Allen, n.d.)
In terms of this blog, at present all the organisation and cataloguing is done by yours truly. I started with the Better Tags Manager plug-in but have since found Manageable to work more effectively and manages more meta-data fields.
Whilst you, my audience, can filter the posts on any of the categories/tags that I’ve nominated, there’s no facility for a reader to add his/her own tags . Meanwhile, a search for any other keywords is available via the search form.
The Commons on Flickr is an interesting project of photographic content with public users contributing to the tags describing that content. Quite a successful website strategy. Flickr members can open their own content to tagging by others also.
Firefox 3.0 makes it simpler than ever to bookmark and organise websites. I’ve been using Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer to ensure I don’t loose bookmarks and can maintain the same bookmarks across different computers. Brilliant!
At last, in Firefox 3.0 we have the ability to tag our bookmarks. (Maybe it was in earlier versions but only as keywords…) There’s also a neat library feature described there to save searches into automatically updated smart folders. Need tips on how to make it all happen? Those people at Mozilla have thought of everything. Tips for beginners, intermediate and advanced internet users.
So there you have it. Data and meta-data all taken care of. Go plug yourself in to The Matrix!