In my resolution-keeping, I’ve been doing some data collection. As I mentioned, I’m using a program called “Perfect Diet Tracker” – ugh, how I hate the name, but the app is really good – to track what I consume and what I expend. I actually have “numbers time” every day where I also do Quicken – tracking is tracking, after all.
What has struck me, in all this extremely incremental data entry, is that any single data point is not all that valuable. What’s valuable is the relationship of multiple data points to one another. It’s a lesson I keep learning. And it’s a good thing to keep in mind as new sites launch before gathering a meaningful data set. To a certain degree, metadata’s a commodity. The relationship of one set of metadata to another is the product or service.
Of course, this is why I feel so strongly about the semantic web. It’s in its infancy – and toddlerhood is not much prettier – but over time it will prove meaningful. Helpful, even.
But what’s even more fascinating, in a way, is what’s NOT there. Yet. We can only gather data that’s been recorded. So much hasn’t. And when we finally do amass a corpus of data that we can blend with our existing data, the results can be surprising – even gratifying to some.