Above all, Visual-Meta is a promise. It is a promise that if we put rich metadata into a document in a robust form, interactions we cannot even imagine now become possible.
Computer games designers have long known that to create richly interactive environments the elements in the environment need to know what they are and to be able to communicate this to other elements. It is the same for knowledge work.
Specifically, when a document ‘knows what it is and how it connects’ it becomes possible to Copy & Paste As Citation (the copy includes the full Visual-Meta so that when pasted, this can be employed to make a citation). Interactive Glossaries become easy to implement as well.
It also becomes possible to create powerful visualisations of how the documents connect.
Visual-Meta is a statement of intent to both preserve and use our knowledge as richly and robustly as possible. It is also a core component of what Doug Engelbart’s requirement of knowledge-domain-interoperability† for an open hyperdocument† system.