Riffing off some of my earlier posts (namely, Getting SemWebTech to Take, Opportunity Knocks, Community Semantics), I’ve been thinking a lot about the dynamics of meta data generation. I keep mentioning the value of latching onto activities in which people are already engaged, in order to devise processes that “catch on” or can be self-fulfilling. An aspect I haven’t talked so much about is – where in the processes the meta data gets created and captured.

In one context, the “service”, a proprietary hosted platform enables interconnection and linkages, profile-generation through the making of those associations seems the standard approach – whether the profile lives with the host (generally the case), or with the user (rarer).

There’s another context that is particularly interesting, and that is the “tool” approach, which I like to think of as an out-of-body (meta-body?) experience. Here, the mechanism is external to the platform or primary service being utilized, but is a mashable resource that can be tapped for identification and enablement of association with relevant content – and which can generate, on-the-fly, meta data which can then be cross-utilized, and reliably integrated into (or or leveraged for) further activities.

Zemanta and BlueOrganizer strike me as philosophically aligned with the latter, and Alt recently posted some ideas along these lines as well.