At 11:36, my Tweetstream erupted with the news that Gorbachev had died.
By 11:44, there were seeds of doubt.
By 11:51, the “news” had been thoroughly debunked.
It’s illustrative not only of how fast data travels, but how fast it gets corrected. I think about this with regard to book metadata distribution. (And stay tuned for Brian O’Leary’s report on this – I’ve had an advance look and he nails it. Of course.) Yes, erroneous data gets out all the time. Where that erroneous data originates is hard to say – there are thousands of data feeds flying about, and many publishing companies don’t even know how many data feeds they currently send, much less who ingests them and what parts of those feeds get ingested.
But correcting that data is not rocket science. If it is…
Because, as with all things about metadata, it’s not about the metadata. It’s about relationships with trading partners. If it’s hard to correct erroneous metadata, chances are it’s because you don’t have great relationships with the places that are displaying it. E-commerce sites don’t want bad data. It’s not in their interests to continue to display it. Bad data inhibits sales – for the retailer as well as for the publisher. We are, believe it or not, all in this together.
So if it’s difficult to get your data corrected, perhaps it’s time to get to know the folks at the places where your data’s appearing. They’ll be more inclined to help you. BEA is coming up. It’s the perfect time to stop by booths, get business cards, begin making connections. Data’s a reflection of relationships. There are ways to make it all better.