People love the power that comes from metadata, but not if they actually have to touch the metadata. We want the assets found, reports built, and processes automated, but only if we don’t have to be the individuals actually making it possible. It’s like worms: we know they’re important for growing things, but no way do we want to actually put them in our hands.
The growing complexity of our world requires more content and metadata than we’ve ever needed before. Accurate and comprehensive metadata is critical to everything we do, especially if we want to do things well. Obviously, we need to get past this squeamishness over tagging immediately. But change people’s behavior? Their priorities? Sounds like a Catch-22, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. The “people hate tagging” mantra is a cry for help, not an excuse to blame your users.
Our most successful projects include a hard look at the requirements of metadata creation. It’s possible to greatly reduce the tagging burden with a smart UX that leverages both behavioral best practices and business logic. We apply autoclassification and data hygiene tools and techniques. And we work hard to build context through taxonomy, intelligent object modeling, and asset management policies … instead of just requiring more tags.
Many companies don’t include tagging requirements when building information architectures and designing system. This is a critical oversight and, thankfully, one that is easily corrected.
Originally published at: http://www.earley.com/blog/how-get-people-tag-documents#sthash.28tRtZbM.dpuf