"Metadata is "data about data" -- information like keywords, page-length, title, word-count, abstract, location, SKU, ISBN, and so on. Explicit, human-generated metadata has enjoyed recent trendiness, especially in the world of XML. A typical scenario goes like this: a number of suppliers get together and agree on a metadata standard -- a Document Type Definition or scheme -- for a given subject area, say washing machines. They agree to a common vocabulary for describing washing machines: size, capacity, energy consumption, water consumption, price. They create machine-readable databases of their inventory, which are available in whole or part to search agents and other databases, so that a consumer can enter the parameters of the washing machine he's seeking and query multiple sites simultaneously for an exhaustive list of the available washing machines that meet his criteria."
"The most effective communication occurs when all parties involved agree on the meaning of the terms being used. Consequently, finding the right words to communicate the message of your website can be one of the most difficult parts of developing it. When we converse, we speak in “natural language.” This is language in all its raw, rich, gooey glory. When we organize our information and label it however, there is so much richness, variance, and confusion in terminology that we often need to impose some order to facilitate agreement between the concepts within the site and the vocabulary of the person using it."
"You have probably heard IAs discussing the benefits of their latest taxonomy project and how you should be implementing one. But how, you might wonder, can you get started? This article describes a process for building your own controlled vocabulary (CV). A previous article discussed the concept of a CV—the “what.” This article focuses on the “how.” In this article we are looking at a process for creating any kind of controlled vocabulary. While our ultimate goal in this series is to explain facets, the details of facet analysis will be described in a future article. At this point, we are still exploring fundamental concepts and techniques."