Everyone agrees metadata is great. It helps simplify the management and packaging of content and data. It creates consistency and provenance of your content and data across an organization. Metadata gives you that 35000 feet perspective that is needed to make strategic decisions. This is especially important for publishers whose stock in trade is human language, which is completely opaque to machines whose world consists of zeros and ones. Your customers aren’t calling or emailing you to know what is in such and such database. No. They are contacting you because they want to know what monographs you have by such and such professor or asking you for all the archival material on ‘cats’, ‘World War 2’ or ‘nanotubes’. As a human, you understand exactly what they are looking for. If your ICT has a smidgeon of metadata, you can dig around that such-and-such database and deliver the content and have a happy customer.
Intelligent content for Semantic Publishing
Metadata makes your content more intelligent. That’s why everyone agrees metadata is great. Great until they have to either enter the metadata or maintain the vocabularies. Some organizations are lucky. They have ensured there is support within the workflow and people with the expertise to do the hard work so when that customer searches on the website, they quickly find what they are looking for and go away happy. But, even those lucky few do not live in isolation. There is no publisher of consequence who doesn’t have do deal with 3rd party content and data. A huge amount of additional effort is spent shoehorning 3rd party content into the metadata models of the organization. Every publisher has a workflow that includes completely throwing away existing metadata and spending additional time and wasteful effort to add metadata that their CMS can handle. Does that sound familiar? Does it feel better to know you aren’t the only one?
The bad news is that it is unlikely to change. It will surprise no one that the volume, velocity and variety of content and data are only going to increase. The patterns and platforms of how published content is consumed will continue to evolve. Publishers have begun to realize the folly of chasing the current ‘it’ platform and ceding control of their content to the likes of Apple or Google. But, how can you ‘future proof’ your content amongst this uncertainty?
One strategy, which is quickly becoming fundamental to the new ‘digital-first’ approaches to publishing, is to close the gap between how machines understand our content and how the users, our employees and customers deal with smarter metadata. Understanding is the key word here. How do you merge the world of humans using language to describe things like ‘nanotubes’, ‘armed conflicts’, ‘funny cat videos’ and the bland machine world of zeros and ones with just smarter metadata?
You do it with MeaningCloud. Smarter metadata comes from using MeaningCloud’s Meaning-as-a-Service. We provide a number of high-level APIs that automatically enrich your content with smarter metadata. Supported by an ontology that is constantly being refined by our experts to identify millions of entities and concepts in several languages. Out-of-the-box MeaningCloud supports IPTC and AIB classification models. If your organization feels more comfortable in the data analyst’s world of spread sheets, MeaningCloud provides an Excel plug-in for you. All of this technology is also customizable according to your business’s needs via easy to use web interfaces. The best part is that MeaningCloud provides you with a no-obligation and free means to test the power of our Meaning-as-a-Service to realize the benefits of smarter metadata.
The benefits of smarter metadata
Metadata enable you to produce more valuable content, more quickly and at lower costs, and open up new ways of doing business, in a trend that is known as Semantic Publishing.
Products and services are no longer bound by documents or pages. The use of smarter metadata separates the document from what the document is about.
Increases the likelihood of content and data discovery and reuse. By increasing the number of associations your content and data have, you increase the likelihood of exploiting its long-tail value and content and data is discovered without anticipating how your customer is going to be looking for it.
Scalability. Smarter metadata enables the machine to take on the burden of data management in an intelligent way. This enables you to scale up in response to customer demand.
Online findability. Automatically generated long-tail content and semantic markup increase the likelihood of content discoverability in search engines and social media.
Cost-effective publishing workflows. Often content production has redundancies downstream as content is repurposed and repackaged. Smarter metadata can make this automatic without the need of human intervention, saving time, costs and reducing errors.
More time to add value. With Smarter metadata, content producers and editorial are free to spend time enriching content to create added value rather than manually entering metadata.
More satisfied and engaged users. Automatic content personalization enabled by smart metadata increase customer satisfaction. Recommendation of related content and automatic generation of topic-based content multiplies user engagement.
Beyond explicit revenue and cost savings opportunities, there are a number of intangible but transformative benefits. Smarter metadata allows you to model and organize your content and data the way it is used and not how is dictated by the idiosyncrasies of your organization’s ICT. The immediate benefit is the user experience is driven by the content and enables a more personalized experience. As the way your users interact with your content and as the world described in your content changes, your model of that world and the metadata describing that content can evolve. Smarter metadata enables ‘real-time’ tailoring of publishing products and services based on evidence of usage but can also give a clearer picture of the content being created by the organization and by whom. This information can be used to address perceived gaps in organizational strategy and practice.
If you haven’t registered in MeaningCloud don’t forget to give it a try.