If there’s anyone in the world still subscribed to this blog, you’ll have noticed that I haven’t been keeping it up really at all. In fact, the last post I made here was over a year ago now. In that last post, I mentioned that I was writing a book about metadata. Well, that book is now out from MIT Press. The title, cleverly, is Metadata. It’s part of the somewhat grandiosely-named Essential Knowledge series from the Press, so I’m in some extremely good company: Peter Suber’s book Open Access is part of that same series, as is John Palfrey’s on Intellectual Property. When my editor first suggested that I should write a book about metadata for the series, I didn’t hesitate much, but what hesitation I had was mostly anxiety about joining such rarified company.
Of course, since submitting the final manuscript this past summer, I’ve had an ever-growing list of things that I wish I could change about the book. That’s the problem with writing a book about a subject that’s basically a current event: things change pretty fast. I wrote some about the law around the NSA’s phone metadata collection, and that situation is different now than it was when I finished writing. There are entire sections that I would rewrite now, and some entirely new sections that I now want to add. Maybe the book will be a bestseller and the Press will want me to do a second edition. I should be so lucky.
The Press also has a podcast series, and I did an interview for it a couple-three months ago. The podcast came out a few weeks ago now, and is available here. I have to admit, I’m not the pithiest interviewee ever. I really wish that I had the pith of my friend and colleague Paul Jones, who somehow always manages to come up with snappy quotes. Sadly, I’m not that guy. But I did manage to listen to the entire podcast, and even though it’s painful to listen to yourself talk for 20 minutes, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Clearly the interviewer did some judicious editing.