Cory Doctorow on Metadata as Metacrap

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David Weinberger and Cory Doctorow discuss the advantages and pitfalls of explicit and implicit metadata, tags and the rules governing the use and re-use of content in commerce and culture.



"Welcome to the first in a series of interviews conducted by David Weinberger, author of the new book Everything Is Miscellaneous.

In this series, which is cosponsored by Wired News and the Harvard Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, David talks with some of the leading businesspeople, scientists, and thinkers who are coming up with innovative new ways of putting ideas, information and knowledge together. Now that the digital age has blown apart traditional ways of organizing information, what's next? Suddenly, everything is miscellaneous.

David kicks off the series by interviewing novelist, BoingBoing co-editor, digital rights activist and entrepreneur Cory Doctorow. For Cory, piling up information without strict organizational rules can be workable provided that we have sufficiently reliable metadata. The problem is that people don't all use metadata the same way or use tags consistently, and that can be a real obstacle to making coherent sense of piles of information." (

More Information

  1. Semantic Web
  2. Folksonomies