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Moving Metadata From “How” to “Why”

Sunday, February 3, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian O'Leary

At its January meeting, the BISG approved two new charters, one each for our Metadata and Workflow committees.  For the first time, the metadata charter reshapes the focus for the committee, emphasizing the value of metadata in discovery and marketing, and we are looking for professionals with expertise in these areas to join the discussion.

For much of the last two years, BISG had focused on operational aspects of metadata, particularly the implementation of the current standard, ONIX 3.0. Those efforts were unsuccessful, and the initiative was tabled in the last quarter of 2018.

Industry feedback gathered through our “State of the Supply Chain” survey confirmed new priorities: identifying and sharing ways to better manage metadata across the supply chain; helping the industry provide timely, high-quality metadata; and marketing applications for book metadata.

The new charter moves the focus of the Metadata committee from “how” metadata works to “why” it is important: discovery, marketing, and sales. While we’ll continue to address operational issues, including code list updates, the committee will spend time on these objectives:

  • Strengthen documentation of the metadata supply chain, identifying weaknesses in the current approach and making recommendations for operational or structural changes that would address any shortcomings
  • Identify ways to adapt BISG best-practices recommendations to meet metadata producers and recipients “where they are”, improving access to current information and identifying areas of need
  • Gather feedback on the marketing applications of greatest immediate need, addressing the leading concerns with a plan that delivers benefits in 2019.

To reach these goals, we’re working now to recruit committee participants whose experience informs marketing discussions. Honestly, this is a new area for BISG, as we’ve been known largely for the “how”, much less for the “why” of metadata.

To do that, we’re reaching out today to our membership, asking them to review the new charter and share it with colleagues who may not have been part of BISG committee efforts in the past. We are also making the next meeting of the Metadata committee, scheduled to take place on February 20 at 11 a.m., an open conversation about the new charter and ways we can work together to make it directly relevant to marketing staff interested in better use of book metadata.

We’re tackling workflow in a similar fashion. On March 4, we’re hosting a webinar to walk through the new workflow charter, with a kick-off committee meeting taking place mid-March. While workflow itself is an aspect of what several of our committees already consider, this is a new focus for BISG, and we want to cast as wide a net as possible in recruiting members to be part of this committee.

We start most of our webinars with a brief overview of BISG’s core objectives, one of which is “Community”. We work to maintain relevance by growing a diverse membership base that reflects the various segments and participants of the book industry supply chain.

Building community never ends, and we depend on the support of members to help us identify, recruit, and engage people from across the supply chain. The revamped Metadata and new Workflow committees give the industry, and BISG, a chance to renew our commitment, and we look forward to working on your behalf in 2019.


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