Career, Content, Digital, Education, Marketing, Social Media

Here Comes Metadata to Save the Day

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Photo by Markus Spiske on

After MIT Technology review published an article on how all hipsters look alike, they received a complaint from a man, claiming that he was offended because the publication had used his picture to illustrate the story.  In a bizarre turn of events, and sort of like a 3 dimensional confirmation, the man complaining about the picture used in the article about all hipsters looking alike, got confused and misidentified himself.  MIT Technology review’s editor in chief, Gideon Lichfield explains the entire saga on his Twitter feed, and goes on to conclude:  “In other words, the guy who’d threatened to sue us for misusing his image wasn’t the one in the photo. He’d misidentified himself.  All of which just proves the story we ran: Hipsters look so much alike that they can’t even tell themselves apart from each other.”

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Source: Twitter @glichfield

Although the entire story is fascinating, and The Washington Post’s Meagan Flynn did a magnificent job explaining the details, one of the things that I wanted to highlight is the importance of performing an audit when creating a social media or any media strategy. Establishing a well organized central database of assets is important, and more important is the fact that each one of these assets needs to have its corresponding Metadata.  

When you start small is easy to jump ahead and start creating content without thinking of Metadata guidelines for your organization.  Once the team grows, and more collaborators start publishing content, it is hard to go back to organize the content.

When creating Metadata guidelines, make sure to make some of the basic fields, a requirement, to be able to upload the asset to your system.  Also make sure, that there is a field dedicated to restrictions and licenses, if there are any.

Without a system in place, MIT Technology Review’s editor might not have been able to trace the hipster picture back to its source so easily.  Having all the information clear, ready and available, aid him in the process of conducting a quick investigation, once the unexpected complaint was flagged.  

As we can learn from this story, Metadata is just as car insurance, you never know how important it is to maintain up to date, until the accident happens.

POST STATUS:  Being able to keep all your assets and Metadata organized, specially in big Content Creation teams, could be a challenge.  Nevertheless, there comes a time when all this effort pays off.


The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same – MIT Technology Review – Feb 28, 2019


Hipsters all look the same, man inadvertently confirms – Author Meagan Flynn, The Washington Post  – March 7, 2019


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