Group Discussion: Metadata

Folksonomy is a term invented by information architect, Thomas Vander Wal , who combined the words taxonomy and folk. Basically, it describes the growing population of users generating metadata by tagging digital information with their own searchable keywords. Internet commerce companies saw this trend grew so rapidly that they are working nonstop to not only make these user-generated taxonomies part of their systems but to fund the process as well. Not everyone agrees that these taxonomies are to be controlled by these companies. In fact, many cyber-searchers hated the limitations of the traditional taxonomy and are pushing for more freedom on the Web. As for its supporters, internet architects says that this system is a means for a clear taxonomical structure to make digital surfing easy to manage.

Metadata is not really the addition of new data of the World Wide Web. It is when people tag the data which is then used by search engines to read and interpret the content that which the tags are attached to. However, since search engines can really travel everywhere, even the most simple searches can provide results that users do not desire. With tagging, users can search specific domains and move their desired searches to the top of the list. However, some searches that may seem harmless are actual hidden viruses just waiting for you to click on them. Although metadata is beneficial in locating your searches, it can be risky in that your searches are not what they say they are.

Discussion Questions:

1. How did the introduction of metadata change the way we use the Web?

2. Online searching became one of the most useful ways of gathering information. Are there any risks while online searching?

3. Taxonomies were originally generated by users who tag information to make their searches easier to find. Why do Internet commerce companies want to gain control of them?

By Virgilio and Luis

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.