I am now, apparently, the “metadata guy.” In the middle of a great couple of weeks focusing on the role of metadata in the entertainment and information industries I had the honor to support the Women in Technology Hollywood (WiTH) at its luncheon in Century City along with my colleague Diane Burley. WiTH is actively addressing the factors behind the very lopsided gender balance in tech and the topic of the luncheon panel was developing and curating your personal brand. This is a mix of understanding how other people see you and your own goals and image. In the context of women in technology, its a very powerful lesson for everyone and served as a great platform for the wider discussion that I think about as the “reasonable workplace culture” movement and the overall advocacy for women needed to make a difference in the technology world.
Taking this to heart, I decided to start off my talk at the Smart Content Summit event that followed the luncheon with my own personal brand. Mary Yukovic of MESAlliance convinced me into giving a talk, running a panel and also getting MarkLogic to sponsor the event by telling me that when the MESAlliance team were talking about the idea of Smart Content and metadata, everyone kept saying “You need to get Matt from MarkLogic,” and “Matt is the guy you need to talk to.” With that feedback, I took a look at my own goals and went with fully embracing it – yes, in the context of the media and entertainment industry, my brand is indeed “The Metadata Guy!” In a hat tip to Mary, I added that if you are in the industry and you say “metadata, metadata, metadata” I just might show up!
Here is why I’m proud to be the metadata guy:
I am really excited about this! My Terrible Joke ™ for the metadata talk was that I tried to find a picture of a writer adding metadata . . . but we don’t think one exists! (in case you are wondering I have a Terrible Joke for every talk – don’t get me started on the cheese jokes – lets just say they can leave a lot of d’Brie). This turned into one of the big discussion points because writers and other content originators do create and use a lot of metadata – its just not usable to the other systems and so a lot of effort goes into recreating or recapturing it once the work is finished. What if there was a model that could adapt to both needs? What if the authors could have tools that were invisible to them but were actually linking works to worlds, character and ideas (examples of ontologies) and then production and distribution would do the same? This system would also need to look like the current situation – one of the best comments about the current state was that people actually like the silos and file systems. They make sense to the task-focused users and I think the new model can let everyone have it both ways. We can make the task-specific tools, we can respect security and make things as easy as file systems, but we can actually be doing holistic metadata management – from inception to infinity as well.
I’m looking forward to the next round of talks about semantics and metadata at the Henry Stewart DAM show next week. I’m sure I’ll learn something new and get even more excited about the solutions we’re making possible.
And remember, if you need to talk about metadata, just say “metadata, metadata, metadata” and I just might show up! But, just to be sure, a tweet or email is always a good idea.
The Metadata Guy
On my way home from LA, the home of metadata!
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