As I was making my rounds on social media websites, I noticed that a lot of the content on user generated sites lacked adequate information about the media being viewed or the information presented wasn't descriptive. In this post We're going to cover the importance of metadata to the files (picture, video, audio) you upload to social media websites.
API: Application Programming Interface is a set of tools used to build applications.
Metadata is data about data. I know that sounds strange, when I first heard this I felt the same way. The best written explanation I've found comes from the NISO pdf "Understanding Metadata"-- Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. Some concepts are understood easier once you see it in video form. So the nice folks who made this video have illustrated Metadata very well.
Anytime you fill out a registration form for a website, upload a piece of content or even tweet-- your creating metadata.
How & When Is Meta-Data Used?
The importance of metadata to your content isn't always visible because metadata is accessed by the website for search purposes and a programmer or developer uses it when querying the API from their application.
Developers are given access to a websites data through API's. The information the developer is accessing through these API's are related to metadata about the content that resides on the website. The website determines what is relevant metadata about your file. But the most common way you create metadata is through the input fields that are available for you to enter information in about your file. The information you enter is stored in a database and tied to the content.
As you go through the content upload process, thoroughly think about what you are entering into those fields the site offers. Is the name of your audio file descriptive enough? Are the tags you've added to that picture remotely close to describing it? As developers create apps for connected devices and websites, sufficient, descriptive metadata will make a difference in your content being discovered or it not being discovered.