Ahh, meta. These oh-so-innocent four letters add so very much to almost any word in the English language if you just tack them on to the beginning.
Metaphysical: Refers to an idea, doctrine or posed reality outside of human perception.
Metafiction: Fiction about the writing of fiction.
Metapsychology: Philosophical study of the mind outside of objective or empirical data.
Meta essentially means “self-referencing”, and this little four-letter word has become all the rage. Everyone really wants what they do to be “meta”. Even software developers and techies want it, and the best thing those guys have to offer is their data.
The proof is in the pudding. A large percentage of acquired ideas, apps and companies in the tech space are bought because their data is incredibly valuable. Whether it exposes patterns that are useful in marketing or provides direct access to more data, data is king.
So making it “meta” must make it better right? Actually, all metadata means is more fields in a database. If you want to “add metadata” to an app, you add database fields.
Is the term strictly accurate? Well, yes, because the data is used to precisely define and identify a thing. That thing can be a person, an event, an action, or anything else that can be represented in a conceptual way. But it still all comes back to data collected in a database. There are no special properties infused into the data simply because we add those magic four letters.
See, you’re already metasmarter.
By: Cynthia Delaria, CEO/COO @ Raika Technologies, LLC