Metadata is a Love Note to the Future

People find metadata inscrutable, even intimidating. Maybe they think it’s just something to do with SEO. Or, thanks to some high-profile security violations, they think metadata is trying to rob them of their privacy. I prefer the view proposed by archivist/historian Jason Scott: “Metadata is a love note to the future.” Data we’re generating is not inherently good or bad, but gains value (or poses risk) depending on how we use it. We may not understand the meaning of all this data we’ve created, but eventually people will develop ways to make sense of it, find unforeseen connections, and create new knowledge.

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About Rachel Lovinger

Rachel Lovinger is an experience director and content strategist at Razorfish in New York. She’s dedicated to exploring a future in which content is more effectively structured and connections more easily discovered. Experience in online publishing, website development, and content management, led Rachel to the emerging practice of content strategy. Rachel is a regular speaker at international conferences in the areas of content strategy, user experience, and the semantic web.

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About PhillyCHI

PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia region’s chapter of the ACM SIGCHI, an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Usability, and other related disciplines. PhillyCHI holds monthly meetings and socials to network and discuss current topics in HCI.

Learn more at or follow along on Twitter @PhillyCHI.