Metadazzle overfizzle

posted by Jason Kottke Dec 16, 2003

Nothing takes the fun and personality out of writing like metadata. Josh Allen recently quoted Kevin Fanning as saying:

When I'm old, here's how I'm going to describe the early 21st century: We were always having to provide people with content.

As software developers, photographers, writers, and users struggle to organize creative work so that people can locate what they're after, the work itself has necessarily been de-emphasized. As an example, posts on weblogs can have categories, permalinks, post dates, post times, # of comments, # of new comments since your last visit, # of words, # of trackbacks, who last commented on a post, titles, authors, icons, prompts to read more, karma scores, # of versions, "email this" links, referers, and all sorts of other things:

Metadata overload on a weblog post

The actual writing may be in there somewhere as well.

Photos (f-stop, shutter speed, location), wiki pages (DoNot GetMe StartedOnWikis...), online discussions (post filters, comment metadata), and Flash movies (4532 of 59103 bytes loaded) each have their own organizational accoutrements.

I wonder how Basho would have coped:

Basho the blogger

Somehow, all this makes me think of using Excel to write a love letter.