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news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Data just ain't cool in the metadata mania

posted: Jan 5, 2005 7:55:03 PM

One of my resolutions for the new year is to be less of a crackpot about the use of the word "metadata". So, I think I've come to terms with what is going on, and can make one last, final, blanket statement about this:

Folks just always say "metadata" when they want to talk about data now, because metadata sounds 21st century Internet-chic and data just sounds 1980s nerdy

Oh no, you can't just share or collect data, it's got to be metadata. And, no way is anyone going to announce that their incredible metadata repository is just a friggin' database.

Anyway, this is just a reminder to myself: before releasing anything official describing the iCite net, do a search on the word data and replace with metadata ;-)

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Comment by: Dave Lemen ·
posted: Jan 9, 2005 2:17:03 PM

I cannot describe with strong enough language how much I agree with, appreciate, and wish to propogate that thought!

"Metadata" means nothing anymore, because it has been overused, misused, and abused. A more specific word or phrase would almost always be more useful, e.g., "subject tag," "posted date," "geographic location," etc.

Comment by: Jay Fienberg ·
posted: Jan 9, 2005 3:48:25 PM

Thanks for the support Dave!

Contrary to my surrender in this post, I'm re-considering my role as the "world's biggest metadata crackpot", and thinking I might just categorically deny the existence of metadata altogether!

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