Keynote: 2020 Vision: Reflections on a Quarter Century of Metadata
Retired, Seattle, US
Stuart Weibel was a co-organizer of the early Dublin Core workshops and conferences. He helped bring a loosely-organized collection of global expertise together to form the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative and directed it for the first decade of its existence. The effort began with a conversation at the second World Wide Web conference in Chicago in 1994, lamenting the difficulty of finding web resources. Weibel and Eric Miller offered to organize a workshop to explore models of resource description on the Web. Fifty-two web technologists, librarians, and content specialists gathered in Dublin, Ohio in March of 1995, and thus began the workshop and conference series that we reprise in this online symposium. Weibel worked in Research for 25 years at OCLC, a global library cooperative. He left in 2012 to sail and maintain a traditional 26-foot wooden gaff cutter. That is the varnished truth.
Metadata is an abstraction, a language with a grammar and vocabularies that necessarily emerges in many varied forms across natural languages, cultures, and intellectual domains. This address will recapitulate some of the metaphors that emerged in the community to bridge these abstractions to the problems of information management in the digital world.
Weibel will also explore some of the social engineering challenges of how a growing global community self-organized and, in the current vernacular, “crowd sourced” what grew into a global standards activity, a research community, and many spin-off activities that underlie much of the organization of digital information on the Internet.
There’s a pretty good chance he’ll tell some stories along the way.