metadata raises its head again

Bite my shiny meta ass

I've been thinking long and hard about the issue of photos and metadata, since using Flickr and considering the ideas open source metadata. Theres a large article in this months wired by David Weinberger which focuses my thoughts on the topic.
I'm still using pixory which doesnt have great metadata support but at least it has permalink urls, dynamic image scaling, sharing support, upload and download features (wish it was webdav over ftp). Its just a shame I'm having problems installing it on the Mac using Tomcat 5.27 at this moment.

I kinda of hoped all these problems would go away with time because we would have metadata storing file systems like WinFS which got dropped from Longhorn a while ago, DBFS which is coming to the next KDE I heard and of course theres Apple Tiger one as well as ReiserFS (which was ment to have metadata or/and db like features).
Even the newly launched Google desktop would be a good step in the right direction, but its much deeper than all this and not even the largest corps with the largest pockets have it solved. I also have to ask if this the best way to go?

Adaptive's path's Metadata for the masses raises the open source type way, forward. But points out the confusion and chaos which can happen when people start using tags which are simular but not. Following Weinberger's blog, Udell's certainly on the right path in my mind. And refering back to Harry's idea of the web 2.0 needing a decent interface, maybe that might be the problem full stop. Humans are too lasy to put in decent metadata, computers do not put in decent human acceptable metadata. Why not trick humans into putting in decent metadata by there collective actions. Maybe google desktop isnt such a bad idea now….

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and