Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Life and Data

Metadata is not a new field by any stretch of the imagination. A standard history or economic paper will include a historiography which includes past writing on your topic of research. Most times a researcher will include an analysis of these former texts thus creating metadata.

In the current day the ability to create metadata is incredibly easy via tools available due to the digital age. This includes the making of algorithms to sort data or the use of programmes such as excel to simply sort data.

The importance of metadata is important for two key reasons. One it allows researchers to sort data and allows for empirical studies on data. The second and more addressed in the readings use, is a company being able to decipher preferences of its consumers. Although some may see this as an encroachment into ones personal life, the fact of the matter is that it allows for a more personalized consumer experience. This allows for a more efficient use of a consumers time, while also increasing the profit margins of any company making a customized experience through the use of metadata.

1 Comment

  1. I agree with your post in all ways. Metadata has always been around and I don’t see it as an issue for copyright or as an invasion of privacy more so as an analysis or interpretation of provided information. It is helpful in many a scenarios for example online shopping giving you styles that are similar to ones you have clicked on (expressed interest in). I do believe that it is in the best interest of the company issuing the metadata to output more things that are similar to the consumers interest in order to advertise even more items and increase their profits, but I do not believe that they use the metadata information for the intent to invade a consumers privacy. How could you even fight that? Because the company invaded your privacy by finding similar items to one’s you liked it inclined you to spend more than the amount you wanted?? Go metadata. -CC

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