Metadata is the biggest new idea to hit the internet since... well... data itself. In some subtle and not so subtle ways, the prevalence of metadata is transforming every apsect of our digital lives. But metadata's reach extends well past our del.icio.us tags and flickr categories. Metadata is transforming the way software is built and managed as well. We'll take a look at the metadata phenomenom from top to bottom in my first ever blarticle.