Purposeful Metadata

I’ve blogged over at www.organisingknowledge.com (my book-blog) on the need for a sense of purpose when we design metadata. Here’s how the blog post starts:

When we do taxonomy projects we almost always come to a point where we are having a conversation with our clients about metadata. In fact, we prefer to absorb metadata design into a taxonomy project, simply because it gives us so much more influence over the performance of our taxonomy – metadata design heavily influences the degree to which any given system can exploit a taxonomy in practical ways.

Often, however, the metadata design is already embedded in the technical systems part of a project, and we come to the metadata table late in the day. I find myself over-frequently meeting the “just in case” school of metadata design – often from within the IT systems design school, where more functionality is better, and more metadata means more future capabilities. “If we have the metadata, we can manipulate the content in xyz ways.”. More is better. More metadata insures you against future regret (“Oh my god, I wish we had put that metadata field in back when we were designing the system” ).

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