James Robertson of Step Two has published Metadata fundamentals for intranets and websites
The article is a great intro and neatly captures several of my metadata hobby horses.
Capture what you need:
“As discussed in the previous section, metadata is a burden on the authors of the content, and one that they may not fully understand or support.For all these reasons, only metadata that has a concrete and immediate need should be captured. Don’t set up metadata fields to support potential future uses” “authors may not have the skill, time or inclination to enter consistent and high-quality metadata.”
“It takes several person-years of work to develop a taxonomy, making it hard to justify, even though the return on investment will be several times the initial cost.
In the shorter term, organisations should therefore look to simpler approaches to metadata, pending the development of a more extensive taxonomy.”
Users must be motivated to tag:
“While tagging has proven to be successful on sites such as these, its use on corporate websites and intranets is much less clear. The motivation and purpose for end users to tag our content is not obvious, and this is key to the tagging approach.”