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Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications

Alyssa Arbuckle, Alison Hedley, Shaun Macpherson, Alyssa McLeod, Jana Millar Usiskin, Daniel Powell, Jentery Sayers, Emily Smith, Michael Stevens, Authors

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More on Metadata

I found the process of applying metadata to the objects to be surprisingly challenging and thought-provoking. Some of the categories seemed to seep into the others (particularly source and relation), and I found that the process of filling in the metadata quickly became redundant. My description, for instance, was sometimes hardly distinct from the relation category, or the subject was already in the title. This did get me thinking about how sometimes the most obvious things that we often take as a given are the most difficult to define or explain. I did try to spend some time considering how to make the categories distinct, but there were occasions when I found that I still repeated myself. Keeping the searchability factor in mind seemed key, and I think I got a little hung-up—especially when it came to my video—on who to give the primary credit to: the author, the creator of the video, the actor? It is amazing how complicated this question of authorship becomes when you are working in this kind of post-repost environment of proliferating versions, remixes, adaptations, and reproductions. Realizing that this is by no means a new problem is important, I think. The same issue came up with the map—who published it, who owned it, who digitized it, who lent it out—all of these concerns making some of the most seemingly basic information now seem utterly inscrutable. I began to wonder, however, what we can learn from film in all of this, as film seems to have dealt with finding a way of crediting everyone involved—from the 3rd key grip to "boy with sunglasses in van," and so on.

Author: Emily Smith
Word Count: 279
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