Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mishaps in a Machine Readable World

The Canadian history magazine The Beaver recently announced that the publication is changing its name. This name change is based in the desire to be more accessible to the online community. Currently the magazine's title is often caught in spam filters due to the title's possible sexual connotation. This name change is just one of the many examples of the importance of naming with machines in mind.

One of my personal favorite examples of names in a machine readable world is the band Live. Googling 'live' or 'live+band' in an attempt to find more than a Wikipedia entry on the band is an exercise in futility. On the other hand, such a common name makes it difficult to download the bands music. Depending which side you're on, the inability to easily download their music could be considered a great thing or a horrible thing.

Both of these examples highlight the importance of naming schemes being machine readable. Names can no longer merely be catchy, they need to also be searchable. I'm just waiting until children's names are picked with machines in mind....

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