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Metadata and Web Content Management Sam Gallagher Departmental Web Manager U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Metadata and Web Content Management Sam Gallagher Departmental Web Manager U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Metadata and Web Content Management Sam Gallagher Departmental Web Manager U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

2 u What is the role of metadata in web content management? u The answer varies from office to office, agency to agency. u The role of metadata varies from “none at all” to being an integral tool in managing web content. Role of Metadata

3 u For most of us, metadata isn’t new, just reborn. –Many agencies have been using “description” and “keywords” for years with little guidance and no consistency. u Agencies that do use metadata consistently, built it into the content creation process. u The rest of us are trying to find our way through the jungle of terms, standards, and concepts. Role of Metadata

4 u Web Content Management also varies by agency –Some content managers are also content owners –Some are editors –Others simply manage the content design/flow, but rely on content creators/editors –There are varying levels of understanding of the concept of metadata Web Content Management

5 u However, there are some commonalities –Our websites are huge »HUD’s for example is something over 200,000 documents –Our websites change frequently »Last Friday alone, HUD made over 700 changes. –Our website have become increasingly difficult to maintain Web Content Management

6 u In addition to having too much content, there are also too many websites: more than 24,000 government websites at last count. u The total number of web documents in the Federal space isn’t known: easily millions. u There is a proliferation of portals. –FirstGov lists more than 90 Portals. –Instead of reducing the clutter, many portals end up as duplicating navigational structures to content that already exists. Web Content Management

7 u And, there are a host of regulations and standards to follow. –The Web Content Managers Working Group found over 16 laws, regulations, or policies directly affecting federal public websites. Web Content Management

8 u What we are beginning to learn is Metadata can be a tool for helping us meet some of these demands. Role of Metadata

9 u Created in January 2004 as part of the Interagency Committee on Government Information. u Originally known as the Web Content Management Working Group. u An interagency group of 30 web managers, with representatives from every cabinet-level agency and many independent agencies. Web Managers Advisory Council

10 u Tasked with recommending policies and guidelines to OMB for all federal public websites. u Group issued its recommendations in June 2004 to OMB. u OMB issued policies for federal public websites on December 17, 2004.

11 Web Managers Advisory Council u After policies were issued, web managers saw the need for continuing discussions. u The Web Managers Working Group became the Advisory Council: a community of web managers helping web managers.

12 u One of the recommendations to OMB was the use of a standardized set of metadata. “Federal public websites must include metadata on the homepage and all major entry points” The Metadata Discussion

13 u The arguments for standard metadata included: –improve search relevancy, –provide an audit trail, –support website maintenance and administration, and –allow information to be tracked and assembled government-wide.

14 The Metadata Discussion u The arguments against standard metadata included: –Commercial searches don’t use metadata –Time/resource consuming –Education requirements –Too many documents to encode

15 The Metadata Discussion u During the comment period, 38 comments were received specifically relating to metadata--nearly all were positive. u In the end, the consensus was that the potential benefits could outweigh the costs. u Discussion then centered on how many and which elements to promote.

16 The Recommendation u The Working Group agreed on: –Mandatory use of 6 elements –Require use of metadata on homepage and major entry points only –If an agency wanted to use more elements, refer to Dublin Core

17 The Recommendation u The 6 elements agreed upon were: –Title –Description –Creator –Date Created –Date Reviewed –Language

18 OMB’s Policies u OMB did not choose to specifically include metadata in their policies. u However, the Web Managers Advisory Council continues to promote the use of standard metadata. –Created the Metadata Task Group to continue the discussion and promote the use of metadata.

19 Metadata Standards u While no standard has been issued, consensus has centered on the use of the Dublin Core metadata standard. –Already existing international standard –Relatively easy to implement –Already used by Great Britain, Canada, Australia and several federal agencies in the U.S.

20 Metadata Standards u Based on the consensus to use Dublin Core, the Web Advisory Council is now advising agencies to use the following elements: –dc.title –dc.description –dc.creator – – –dc.language

21 Metadata Standards u While not yet a “recommendation,” there is a growing discussion on the need for standardized vocabularies for: –dc.audience –dc.subject u Some limited work is underway to create a controlled vocabulary for audience.

22 The Role of Metadata u Web managers throughout the federal government struggle with some of the same issues: –It is often difficult to find out who “owns” content –Ensuring content remains current and accurate is a monumental undertaking –Competition for space on the front page makes it difficult to get people to the content they need.

23 The Role of Metadata u The role of metadata in web management comes back to those “pros” –improve search relevancy, –provide an audit trail, –support website maintenance and administration, and –allow information to be tracked and assembled government-wide.

24 Improve Search Relevancy u While commercial searches like Google and Yahoo may not use metadata YET: –We could use metadata to improve the searches on our own sites –FirstGov, while not currently set-up to take advantage of metadata, could be in the future –“If you build it, they will come…”

25 Provide an Audit Trail u Several of the elements were selected for their ability to create an audit trail. For example: –Creator identifies who/which office is responsible for the content –Date Reviewed identifies old, possibly obsolete, documents

26 Support Website Maintenance u Metadata gives us a method for: –Tracking down who is responsible for content –Ensuring content is current/accurate –Archiving appropriate content from one administration to the next –Identifying content by language

27 Aggregate Content u With the use of Audience and Subject, we could: –Discover redundant/duplicative content –Find content that needs to be “brought up” to higher levels of the website –Aggregate content from within our organizations and across organizations »This could lead to reducing the need for portals.

28 What is being done now? u Metadata has been the subject of a session at each of the last three web content managers conferences. –Interest is high, but there are still doubts u Metadata task group of the Web Advisory Council is: –Creating guidance/tools for implementing metadata –Beginning work on a controlled vocabulary for Audience

29 Next Steps u There needs to be a proven benefit –We’ve made one attempt to show how metadata could be used across agencies

30 Next Steps u Metadata has to be easily implemented –Simple tools need to be developed –Tools should be integrated into the content creation process –Education developed on the benefits gained by the consistent use of metadata

31 Conclusion u The role of metadata in web content management is just beginning –We see the potential –We have some tentative first steps –We need successes to trumpet to build the momentum

32 Conclusion u Web Advisory Council: –Continues to meet once a month. –Plans and holds web manager conferences –Manages a website: –Hurricane Katrina:

33 Conclusion u Contact info: Kate Donohue E-mail: Phone: 202-874-4976 Jeffrey Levy E-mail: Phone: 202-564-9727

34 u Metadata task group –Sam Gallagher 202-708-1547 Questions/Comments?

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