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Metacrap

Isn’t this a great word? Don’t you just want to use it at least once an hour? Someone is rambling on (like I do) and when they are done….if you are polite enough to wait that long…. You want to tell them that what they just said is “metacrap.” Well, maybe that’s not the correct usage of the word but I think I found in what context it can be used.

A couple weeks ago I was doing a session with research librarians. That day the topic was Web 2.0. This past year, I have found that Web 2.0 can be a very provocative topic with librarians. I presented a session called Web 2.0 Wiki Up that caused some librarians to actually jump to their feet. It wasn’t me, I’m not that charismatic. But the possibility of centuries old taxonomies being obsolete can evoke strong emotions and protests. The research librarians that day were much more forward looking – they actually want to use technology and…….even wanted to be embedded librarians in online classes. But I digress…

In an earlier Post – I wrote how Web 3.0 is suppose to be the semantic web where AI can take our search requests and go through all the nuances to find what we really wanted to know. When I spoke with our research librarians we discussed tagging and will AI be able to distinguish what we want when everyone has their own tagging system. This made me look for the answer – someone had to have figured it out already. And yes someone did – the semantic web will have to overcome metacrap. Metacrap is a portmanteau of metadata and crap. Metadata is data about data. The heading of an article or the tags on YouTube or on this Ning site are metadata. Sometimes these headings or tags are incorrect or subject to interpretation or just crap. Web 2.0 encourages every contributor to establish metadata as they see fit. In Web 2.0 the role of the expert who classifies everything has vanished. So we have a lot of metacrap out in the Blogosphere http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacrap