Metadata (or meta data) has become a household word. Whatever news source you use has surely blasted you with all the conspiracy theories and paranoia driven news to make this not only a familiar word, but a terrifying one. But metadata is not new, nor is it malevolent or malicious. This interesting viewpoint was found on The Asian Age in their article, “Where are the scientists?”

In this time of fear, many are forgetting the massive amounts of data that have to be searched through. They envision someone listening to every phone call, reading every word in every email, and monitoring every text. Remember big data? This is just not possible. Information specialists know this, but panic sells news. Pointing out that it is not possible or feasible for anyone, business or government, to dig that deep, goes unheard.

Metadata provides a valuable source to searching for content when it is properly indexed against a standards-based taxonomy. The word alone doesn’t cause angels to sing above, but it also doesn’t call forward the dark forces of the infernal regions.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.