Last week the higher-ups at The New York Times did a bang-up job of reminding everyone that institutional sexism is real and pervasive. In addition, someone on The Times' payroll leaked a digital strategy document, titled Innovation Report 2014, to Buzzfeed that librarians would be wise to read.
To wit, The Times has a metadata problem: they lack both a controlled vocabulary and informal systems to tag stories behind the scenes, making it hard for reporters, writers, and digital content staff to make and promote connections.
“Without better tagging, we are hamstrung in our ability to allow readers to follow developing stories, discover nearby restaurants that we have reviewed or even have our photos show up on search engines.” (Page 41 of the report)
It took the Times seven years to come up with a “September 11th” tag, there's still no “Benghazi” tag (41).
“Just adding structured data, for example, immediately increased traffic to our recipes from search engines by 52 percent.” (44)
That's the price of bad, or non-existent, metadata.
There's more. The full Times report is hosted by the Neiman Journalism Lab, which also has excerpts. All images below come from that page.
Does this sound familiar, librarians? Do you think library websites are "gateways?" What is the role of content and discoverability?