When I saw Ethan put Nivi’s matrix into NumSum, I thought it was so cool that I had to take up Mike’s request to stick some of his thought-provoking wishlist into the matrix as well. Here’s my attempt:
I got rid of the “expert” scope column, not because it’s not relevant, but because there weren’t any entries and aren’t likely to be anytime soon — seems like amateurs are more in fashion than experts these days. (UPDATE: Ethan rightly points out that Squidoo is an example of expert filtering, as is really any successful media outlet, including Mike’s TechCrunch itself; I updated the matrix to reflect this and a couple other suggestions — if anyone else has more suggestions for entries, please pass them on!)
Nivi also points out that there are other dimensions that could be added to this matrix, in particular that of metadata location. He mentions that a lot of this valuable data is on your desktop, to which I’d add that a lot is also “locked up” in various applications, e.g. your search history, your tags, your OPML list, etc.
I also thought a great point was that the metadata is about both you and the data it points to:
This metadata is metadata about the data it points to and metadata about your interests and attention. In fact, the utility of a piece of metadata in describing data may be inversely related to its utility in describing your interests. For example, your clicks describe your interests, but they donâ€™t really say anything useful about the data you are clicking on. (Propers to Ethan Stock for this insight).
However, I’m not so sure about the idea of an inverse relationship between the utility of metadata along these two dimensions. Your clicks may not *directly* say anything useful about the data clicked on, but indirectly they’re at minimum a vote (as used by AdWords), and even better a proxy for collaborative filtering (as used by Amazon). Delicious makes this explicit by allowing you to pivot on users, tags (metadata), and URLs (the data pointed to); each one of these dimensions has a different meaning, but I think every one has some utility.