Meta-data and person to person connections

Another great post by D. Grey, about how meta-data can enhance collections/ content by means of connections/ context.

“The best way to add context is to assist with making person to person connections.”

Instead of just favoring connections over canned content, he shows how human connections can upvalue knowledge artefacts. With this focus, knowledge asset repositories are no longer a dead collection of mere expert locator information and documents. The “person to person” contacts may be imagined in a variety of perspectives.

  • conversations about the artefacts, to “test and validate” them, leading to “third party metadata” as S. Downes called them;
  • the process of metadata generation is thus tied into the the workflow of authoring and perception, rather than being an end in itself, which is critical for their acceptance.
  • “assisting” with personal connections is different than just storing the author’s name; it does not necessarily mean that the author himself is the contact person, but rather, this may be a “proxy” person, enabling a division-of-labor, in the frequent case where the expert does not like to write artefacts or/and does not want to be named for first-level inquiries;
  • conversations about the taxonomy and distinctions, “testing boundaries”, may lead to useful cross-references between categories, which IMO are crucial for a classification to become sufferable.

In this light, metadata and classification and content don’t seem so dusty any more, especially in the intranet where metadata cheating is not a big issue.

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