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Call Me Metadata World Peace
By: Maryann Fabian
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If Metta World Peace leaves the Lakers, as rumors suggest, maybe he could change his name to Metadata World Peace since the topic is so hot now. Suddenly, it’s all about higher-level information. Yes, if content is king, then metadata must rule the world. It’s not what you say that matters but who you connect with and who they call.

Just what is metadata? Basically, it’s data about data, a way of organizing and finding information. If you used an ATM or searched for a book on Amazon, you used metadata. Or, put another way, in an NSA kind of way, if someone finds out your gynecologist called and then you called Planned Parenthood, without even knowing the actual content of the conversations, one can guess what happened. Has anyone’s privacy been breached? That’s for a court to decide — the court of public opinion or a real one.

Brands have been using metadata to get information about customers for quite a while. iTunes ranks the most downloaded songs. Amazon tells you what products other people looked at when they searched for the same thing you did. HBO GO really gets it. Metadata provides the descriptive information that allows customers to discover content by story line, cast member, title, and more. Facebook lets you do graph searches looking at page metadata — the location of a page and what category it falls under. So it’s easy to find “products liked by people who work at NSA.”

See, metadata really does make the world go round.

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About the Author
Maryann Fabian is a copywriter who has crafted the voice of some of this country's best brands.
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