Meta-Data & Content
As I was making my rounds to different websites, I noticed that a lot of the content on user generated sites lacked adequate information. Some information was vague, others wasn’t present at all. So, I figured I’d touch on a subject that not many think about when posting content to a user generated website.
User Generated Site: A website where the users create majority of the content that resides on the website. E.G. Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Blogger, etc.
API: Application Programmer Interface is a set of tools used to build applications.
Metadata is data about data. I know that sounds goofy, when I first heard this I felt the same way. The best written explanation I’ve found comes from the NISO pdf “Understanding Metadata”– Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. Some concepts are understood easier once you see it in video form. So the nice folks who made this video have explained it better than I can type it to you.
The importance of metadata to your content isn’t visible to a person whom isn’t a programmer, developer or in the data management field. Metadata is shaping the way information, content and resources are organized and found on the computer, consumer electronics device and the internet.
Any time you fill out a registration form for a website, upload a piece of content or even tweet, your creating metadata. Data management techniques a website applies will ultimately determine what they consider to be relevant metadata, but, be aware that any information you supply can be used as metadata.
Developers are given access to a websites content through API’s (Application Programmers Interface), most of the time the information the developer is accessing through these API’s are related to Meta-Data information about the content the website has. The website owner determines what data is accessible through its API. The website owner isn’t creating metadata out of thin air, it’s tied to the form fields and profile information you fill out when you register or submit content to the site.
As you go through the content upload process, thoroughly think about what you are entering into those fields the site offers you. Is the name of that audio file descriptive enough? Are the tags you added to that picture remotely close to describing it? As developers create apps for mobile devices or websites, this can be the difference between your content being found and it not being found.