New Dogeared Project: Metacontent

Scot Kamins kamins at dogeared.com
Tue Oct 25 15:13:57 EDT 2005


Folks,

You'll notice a new icon to the left of many titles in the Dogeared  
database: It's the book icon with a red 'M" in it. Go here:

http://www.dogeared.com/SiteImages/metadata.jpg

The icon links to metacontent about the title. Metacontent is content  
about content. So rather than being the content itself, it's  
something that describes or amplifies the content. For example, for  
fiction it might be a plot synopsis, an analysis of how the work  
stands as an example of its genre, or a piece of general literary  
criticism; for philosophy it might be a condensation of main points  
or how the philosophy reflects or changed the society of its time.



WHY I DID IT

This is just another part of my plot to get people to read what they  
collect. I thought that if people had plot synopses or philosophical  
points or content summaries or other illuminating bits about a title,  
they might be enticed to read the whole book. Or for people who  
already read, here might be tidbits that expand the reader's  
enjoyment or understanding.

Personally, I think it's the most important addition to Dogeared  
since the DJ Project.

HOW I DID IT

If you're going to have freedom of the press, it means that fools and  
liars get to publish whatever they want (pretty much). The Internet  
is the largest printing press-cum-village square bulletin board ever  
devised. The problem of information availability has largely been  
superceded by information reliability.

I tried to find the most reliable sites from which to gather  
metacontent links. It wasn't easy! As you know, while there's lots of  
information available on the Internet, much of it is junk. But I  
think I did a fairly good job -- at least enough to get started.

For more information about how I chose the documents to link to, see:

http://www.dogeared.com/Identifiers/metaContentCriteria.html



OPPORTUNITY FOR PARTICIPATION

This was just a first pass. I was unable to quickly find [:: split  
infinitive there ::] decent metadata for many titles. So if you can't  
find a link for your favorite title, you could search one out and  
send me the link!

This brings up a new Dogeared initiative, the "Adopt An Author"  
program -- an opportunity for you to participate more in Dogeared  
without doing a lot of work, and perhaps an opportunity for your kids  
to learn vital Internet research skills (I'm quite serious about  
this). More about this in a separate email later today (probably).




- Scot Kamins
"Speak your truth, even as your voice quakes."





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