New doesn’t last long anymore. Technology and innovation happen so fast that what was new today will indeed be old tomorrow. Publishers Weekly brought this news to us in their article, “Reflections on Metadata.”

However, in the digital word, the ability to repurpose content or make it more discoverable or findable has never been more potent. Archival content used to be considered just that – archived and not useful – just like the dusty file cabinet that used to store it.

With digital products, once-archived content has been transformed into a valued asset and future source of revenue. Content needs to be consistently structured, easily accessible, and managed. This is all due to metadata.

What is metadata? It is essentially information about the product or the product’s content – data about data. It describes the product and governs transactions associated with that product. For the publisher, it enables the increasingly complex business rules for what, when, where, and how content is used.

With the advent of e-products, online retailers, and the explosion of Internet business, metadata has grown exponentially and has increased both in complexity and importance.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.