Although I miss the literary references, I do like the spin that Jason Kotke puts on meta-data:
As software developers, photographers, writers, and users struggle to organize creative work so that people can locate what they’re after, the work itself has necessarily been de-emphasized. As an example, posts on weblogs can have categories, permalinks, post dates, post times, # of comments, # of new comments since your last visit, # of words, # of trackbacks, who last commented on a post, titles, authors, icons, prompts to read more, karma scores, # of versions, “email this” links, referers, and all sorts of other things:
His graphic of a data encrusted blog post of no significance is worth a look. If your blog looks like this, then it may be time to think about writing, contextualizing, contributing something other than a link and a copy-pasted quote.
I think he aims at one of my learning object beefs- the overemphasis on metadata, tags, “repositories” and almost no attention to what matters- the stuff being described. After years of effort, we keep seeing more and more search and seek tools, more tag and bag tools, but where are the activity construction tools? Na-da.
Jason;s blog deserves the supreme praise it often gets. I would guess some has to do with clean design, but more to do with well-written, compelling stuff.
And you ought to check out the last link to “using Excel to write a love letter/”