Thursday, March 09, 2006

Data and Metadata

Hysteresis, History and empty metadata fields "Hysteresis occurs whenever the effect that accompanies some cause is delayed for some reason. The term is most often associated with processes in the physical world. The movement of interest rates, the growth of insect populations, the rise and fall of magnetic fields, that sort of thing."

"There is a hysteresis-based relationship between content and non-trivial metadata about the content."

"Writers write and categorizers categorize. There is an unavoidable delay between the two activities. The writers and the categorizers can be the same people but the activities are very different and cannot be done at the same time. Build this hysteresis into your workflows rather than fight against it. The alternative is blank or dummy metadata fields."
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