In this time and age when metadata is included in almost every conversation, a tongue-in-cheek podcast caught my attention. The author reads aloud an article that imagines a dialogue between Alan Turing and Winston Churchill that might have taken place if the UK Home Secretary Theresa May had been Turing’s line manager. This entertaining podcast on the subject of metadata was found on Boing Boing. The podcast is titled, “Metadata – a wartime drama.”

In response to citizens’ and reporters’ concerns about the tracking of phone and email conversations, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May has been quoted as saying, “It is not snooping. It is absolutely not government wanting to read everybody’s emails – we will not be looking at every webpage everybody has looked at.” May added, “This is purely about the who, when and where made these communications.” Those of us in the United States have heard similar statements from our president, Barack Obama.

As humorous as this podcast is, it is important to remember that metadata is key in revealing relationships. Relationships between terms, between definitions, and yes, between people.

Melody K. Smith

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