Susan Crawford has a great post about how all this structured metadata in Web 2.0 is really about helping us to see the patterns in the networks that we are a part of, find people that we need to find, and create bonds we need to create in order to get things done.
These meta-informational thingies are letting us see our online environment in ways we can’t possibly see the offline world. What’s important isn’t just that these thingies are dynamic (although that’s clearly important) but also that they can be (1) visualized and (2) affected by the attention of individuals.
[…] we can find issues and people we want to work on/with and then actually do something about it. That’s the big difference. All this high-quality meta-information allows us to see the rules and roles that make up groups online, join those institutions for brief periods of time (because we’re just the right person for the job) and change the world.