W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > February 2001

Where should you look for metadata?

From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 09:05:46 -0500
Message-ID: <14989.13242.336579.13997@localhost.localdomain>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Sean B. Palmer writes:

 > > If I want to find the truth about: http://republicans.org/GeorgeW
 > > I don't think I'd choose that URI as the most reliable source.
 > 
 > You're saying there that you wouldn't choose that URI as a reliable
 > source for information about a *person*, not that URI. Surely you
 > agree that the best place to find out something about
 > http://republicans.org/GeorgeW would be
 > http://republicans.org/GeorgeW ?

Think of the kinds of questions that you might ask about a Web site
overall or about a specific page:

1. What is the subject matter of the page?

2. Is it suitable for the young or easily-offended?

3. Is its content free, or does it require payment?

4. Does the owner share any cookies or other personal information with
other parties?

5. How highly have users rated the content?

I wouldn't trust even top-50 Web sites to answer #4 or #5 honestly (as
a matter of fact, I'd bet on their lying), and outside of big,
well-known sites with a lot to lose in a court action, I wouldn't put
much faith in the answers to #1, #2, or #3 either.  I might look at
the site's own metadata as a desperate last resort, but I'd always try
a trusted third party (such as a Web auditing company) first.

Ask a search-engine author about how reliable self-reporting is (pay
particular attention to how sites use keywords).


All the best,


David

-- 
David Megginson                 david@megginson.com
           http://www.megginson.com/
Received on Friday, 16 February 2001 09:07:53 GMT

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