Friday, 1 February 2013

The importance of metadata

I'm a huge science fiction fan, but just because I watch a lot of Star Trek, doesn't mean I'm savvy in the tech department. Like many other authors I'm active on my two blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and my website. My books The Bird With The Broken Wing and Feedback are on all the online retail sites. And today I was reminded again of the importance of metadata for writers.

Here's a great link to a video to watch.  Agent Kristin Nelson talks about the importance of metadata and how the right metadata took a client's novel straight to the number one stop in an Amazon best seller list. Sadly, no matter how many times I've tried this, I can't get either of my novels in the top 100.

So what is metadata?

Those with an affinity for technicality might understand this explanation offered in a NISO publication: Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. Metadata is often called data about data or information about information.

Here's a link to the full publication by NISO for anyone who wants help falling asleep at night. If you can grasp this tighter than a toddler can grasp the stickiest candy in a candy shop, let me know. I might need your assistance.

To the creative type, like me, metadata is simply the keywords a person might type into Google or Yahoo to search for a particular topic or discussion or product. For example, the labels I will attach to this piece will be: metadata, understanding metadata, writing tips, blogging tips for writing. I can't offer any more explanation than the above because the absolute and conceptual application of metadata is beyond me, but if people land on this article, then at least I've given them some further avenues to explore.

What did I do as soon as I was reminded of the importance of metadata? Well, I went back into every single post and added labels. Why hadn't I done this in the beginning? Because I'm a writer. I know how crucial it is for me to know the ins and outs of every aspect of writing, including marketing, and  (thankfully) I'm getting better at it every day.

Now for the evaluation part of this exercise.

Did you find the information in this post helpful? 
Did you like it enough to leave a comment?
Would you become a member of this blog because of the information provided?

I ask these questions because I recieve approximately 100 visitors to my site each week, and another equally important aspect of marketing is evaluation. What went right? What went wrong? What needs changing? What stays the same? The best way a writer of a blog can evaluate their posts is for readers to leave comments. So I invite you to leave a comment. Or, if the process of leaving a comment is too complicated, what do you suggest?

I hope you enjoyed this very brief look into metadata, marketing and the importance of both from a writer's perspective.

D L Richardson

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