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Folksonomies In Del.icio.us and Flickr 183

Posted by timothy
from the power-to-the-personages dept.
Ian@falsepositives.com writes "Lots of discussion going on about 'folksonomies' -- bottom-up taxonomies that people create on their own -- as used in Del.icio.us and Flickr: Adam Mathes has a thesis on Folksonomies; IFTF's Future Now makes a point about problems with folksonomies: no synonym control ( "mac" and "macintosh" on Del.icio.us); no hierarchy and content types; and only simple one-word tags. Joho the Blog notices a discussion about what to call it in Mob indexing? Folk categorization? Social tagging?, and John Battelle links into Taggle and "federated tagging". I wonder if a Google Suggest like system might reduce 'lazy tagging' ,and maybe synonym control when the federation appears. Tag, you're it!"
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Folksonomies In Del.icio.us and Flickr

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  • 'lazy tagging' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @08:55AM (#11252676)
    I hate this term, there is no lazy tagging, only different tagging. Tagging using too precise a description, thus too many words is as useless as tagging with too few.


    • meta-wiki
    • Wow. A collection of bookmarks. This is new! Let's make up some words!
    • The term "lazy" here doesn't refer to the qualities of the tagger, but to the way in which it is done.

      In coding, you have "lazy initialisation", which is to declare a variable (reserve space for it) and then only fill it with the proper data at the very last minute, just before you use it.

      Here, it means that tags are created on an ad hoc basis as you use them to classify something.

  • What the??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @08:55AM (#11252677)
    That was the single most incoherent paragraph I have read in awhile. I'm afraid to RTFA because it'll probably result in me contracting brain cancer somehow.
    • I'm glad I was not the only one struggling with that. Sounds, and reads like a bunch of self aggrandizing bullshit to me.
    • I guess it's a bad thing I understood every word of it then.

      I really should spend less time wasting time on the net, heh.
    • Learn to read (Score:5, Informative)

      by samael (12612) <Andrew@Ducker.org.uk> on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @09:43AM (#11252887) Homepage
      It's not that complicated a concept - systems have arised which allow you to categorise your own information (bookmarks and photos in the two examples given). Because everyone can use whatever categories they find useful for themselves this means that I can tag my Mac stuff "mac", you can use "Macintosh" and someone else can use "Apple", leading to miscommunication.
      • Re:Learn to read (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dachannien (617929) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @10:15AM (#11253068)
        If the concept is so simple to explain (and it is, because you just did it), why was that explanation not included in the article? Instead, they introduce this "folksonomies" term, give an eight-word definition that includes two terms (bottom-up and taxonomies) which need further explanation to put them in the proper context, and expect everybody to understand what's being talked about.

        • Re:Learn to read (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ElGanzoLoco (642888)
          If the concept is so simple to explain (and it is, because you just did it), why was that explanation not included in the article? Instead, they introduce this "folksonomies" term, give an eight-word definition that includes two terms (bottom-up and taxonomies) which need further explanation to put them in the proper context, and expect everybody to understand what's being talked about.

          It's called "wanting to be hip, even if noone else understands what I say".

      • There is no possible way anyone who was not familiar with this concept could have understood the article summary. It was a big collection of invented words and technical mumbo-jumbo. The submitter should learn to write.
      • This is an interesting problem. FotoFlix [fotoflix.com] uses a different model than "keywords" ... they use labels. So "Mac" and "Macintosh" are completely different. They also use icons associated with each label. So with that system you can aggregate the properties placed on a given photo based off the name or the icon.

        They're working on a way to synchronize labels between users in groups as well. That way you share not only photos but organization as well. Definitely check it out...a very cool approach.

        Foto [fotoflix.com]
      • It's not just about free tagging your own content.

        The other key part of social categorization is that there is a *feedback loop* based on tag popularity that reinforces common tags - the more people who use a tag, the more prominence it gets in the system, encouraging people to use the common term.

        Flickr [flickr.com] and 43things [43things.com] use bigger type to show tag popularity.

        Social categorization is useful because it is fuelled by self-interest - people tag info in these systems to find it later themselves - but it has a

        • In the absence of strong identity verification for "voting" systems that presume to measure "popularity", all metadata matures to spam.
        • The other key part of social categorization is that there is a *feedback loop* based on tag popularity that reinforces common tags - the more people who use a tag, the more prominence it gets in the system, encouraging people to use the common term. Flickr [flickr.com] and 43things [43things.com] use bigger type to show tag popularity.

          The nutr.itio.us [hopto.org] addon to del.icio.us implements exactly this feature. When you add a url, you see your existing tags and any common tags that have been applied to the

      • Because everyone can use whatever categories they find useful for themselves this means that I can tag my Mac stuff "mac", you can use "Macintosh" and someone else can use "Apple", leading to miscommunication.

        I still don't understand why this is a bad thing. If you're interested in communication, use the most common tags. If you're not, use what's useful for you. On the other side, when browsing, a list of related tags should be fine. There's no need to, as some have proposed, enforce synonyms.

        I have
        • I don't think anyone is saying we should _enforce_ synonyms - but offering them as an option, so that you could type "Mac" and be asked if you meant "As in 'Big', 'Apple', or other?" and choose whether you wants to fit in or not.
    • ... and is modded up using the collaborative karma system.

      Anyone else giggling about this?

      Or are you all waiting for a post that everyone sane can understand, like how to modify your Gentoo PPC install to use both OSS and ALSA without frying your SBLive?

      *sighs wearily*
      • Or are you all waiting for a post that everyone sane can understand, like how to modify your Gentoo PPC install to use both OSS and ALSA without frying your SBLive?
        *sighs wearily*


        I would take practical advice any day over these meta-abstract pseudo-intellectual discussions that self appointed experts like to get into. It seems every week, there is some new Paradigm That Will Change The Way We Process Information. This one looks just as stupid as all the rest.
        • these meta-abstract pseudo-intellectual discussions

          "big words I don't understand and can't be bothered to click on"

          self appointed experts

          "people actually learning about things and explaining them"

          It seems every week, there is some new Paradigm That Will Change The Way We Process Information.

          This one's been around for months. Tens of thousands of people are using it already. That's worth commenting on, isn't it?

          "I would take practical advice any day" ... and I use this kind of tagging every day. P
          • Me: these meta-abstract pseudo-intellectual discussions

            You:"big words I don't understand and can't be bothered to click on"

            Response: I didn't say that I couldn't understand them (although that is also an issue), I said that there were:
            (1) "meta-abstract", meaning that they are discussions about discussions and seperated from actual implementation, and
            (2) "pseudo-intellectual", meaning that are carried out with a intellectual attitude (big words, big principles) but they are lacking the actual acade
            • (1) "meta-abstract", meaning that they are discussions about discussions and seperated from actual implementation, and
              (2) "pseudo-intellectual", meaning that are carried out with a intellectual attitude (big words, big principles) but they are lacking the actual academic rigour that would make them truly intellectual.
              In response, you basically called me stupid and lazy.


              Okay, I apologise. I didn't fully appreciate what you were saying.

              I feel picky about your point 2, though: just because a thorough empiri
      • You can perfectly well submit stories about topics that are technical (hey, this *is* news for *nerds*) but it's all in the language.

        I submitted that Half-Life-2-on-Linux-with-Transgaming story a while back, and while I figured everyone probably knew about all those pieces, I still backed all the way up and explained that Cedega was a game-enhanced version of Wine, a windows porting layer, and that Transgaming was it's creator. They had just released a new version that supported a *major* game release in
    • Ditto that. I didn't know if the topic is too advanced or if it's just simple stuff using ten dollar words.
      br. Turned out to be the second.
    • Re:What the??? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xZAQx (472674)
      Lots of discussion going on about 'folksonomies' -- bottom-up taxonomies that people create on their own -- as used in Del.icio.us and Flickr: Adam Mathes has a thesis on Folksonomies; IFTF's Future Now makes a point about problems with folksonomies: no synonym control ( "mac" and "macintosh" on Del.icio.us); no hierarchy and content types; and only simple one-word tags.

      That pile of shit is ONE sentence.

      Slashdot: Where grammar is sacrificed for stories about "revolutionary" technologies such as blogs an

      • Re:What the??? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by moonbender (547943)
        Hm? There is no problem with the grammar in those phrases, at least I don't see any. It's also not really difficult to understand - I'm not a native speaker, and I parsed the sentence without any problem whatsoever. It's arguably one sentence, as evidenced by the fact that is just one full stop, but there are other punctuation marks that clearly seperate the clauses, ie. the colons and the semi-colon.
        Granted, I didn't exactly understand the meaning, but that was simply and solely due to the fact that I lack
        • It's bad writing, that's all. No need for a dissertation.
        • Actually, there are problems with the grammar in that sentence.

          Lots of discussion going on about 'folksonomies' -- bottom-up taxonomies that people create on their own -- as used in Del.icio.us and Flickr:

          The above isn't a full clause, it's just a phrase. However, arguably, it should be a whole clause to be correct. It would be better to say, "There is lots of discussion ...." To my ear, it seems like there's a word missing.

          Adam Mathes has a thesis on Folksonomies; IFTF's Future Now makes a point abou
      • ...blogs and other bullshit made up trends that will be nonexistent in 6 months.

        Er... you know that Slashdot is a blog, right?

    • Re:What the??? (Score:3, Insightful)

      I tried to break it down from my 2 yeard old daughter's point of view. Let me know if this works for you. http://www.marketingshift.com/2005/01/folksonomies -toddlers.cfm [marketingshift.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @08:55AM (#11252680)
    Wha.thef.uk
  • wtf?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcushnk (90744) <senectus AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @08:59AM (#11252694) Journal
    I must need more sleep.. that looked like complete gibberish to me.
  • by Kris_J (10111) * on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @09:01AM (#11252705) Journal
    And I'm sure I'm not quite matching what other people use, I'm not being consistant even amongst my own stuff and my spelling is probably a little off.

    Meanwhile, this is pretty much what happens in any ad-hoc metadata system, and not all of us have the luxury of paying someone to manage our indexes. The place I used to work is just the same. At least it's better than nothing.

  • by Peter Cooper (660482) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @09:02AM (#11252708) Homepage Journal
    A study of tagging on del.icio.us [typepad.com] .. "A mini-ethnography of social practices in a distributed classification community"

  • this list included much of what one might expect as common subjects of photos: cat, friends, dog sky, sea, park, kids, garden, baby, building, flower, flowers signs, sculpture, city, vacation.

    From the folksonomy thing [adammathes.com]. What's a "dog sky"?
    • What's a "dog sky"?

      It's what the sky looks like just before it starts raining dogs. Cats are optional.

  • It seems that in a system like del.icio.us which is very open social practice will reinforce some standard way of dealing with things like synonyms. maybe it can be expected that people will eventually use the most common words in the system for tagging if they want to make full use of the social benefits that the system offers.

    if on the other hand people use del.icio.us and the like only for their personal benefit or for a small group then there is nothing wrong with using different words than some other
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I read the article, I've read the paragraph.

    Maybe I'm just having a bad hair day, but it *sounds* so stupid that no one can even explain it coherently.
    • Oh come on now -- it's not that difficult --! Okay so here is how is goes it is explaining how to tag [items|files|stuffs] in a way that should not hopefully be better understanding to persons. Easy? OK. See the old way was difficult (not easy) to understand because people created random things describing stuff to their persons, but this way should help confusion among people.

      Good? Tag! You're it!
  • by joebetoblame (846146) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @09:11AM (#11252742) Homepage
    I didn't know either so I looked it up

    ...more info at http://www.adammathes.com/academic/computer-mediat ed-communication/folksonomies.html [adammathes.com]

    Del.icio.us http://de.licio.us/ [licio.us] henceforth referred to as "Delicious") is a tool to organize web pages. A description online states it is: "a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only between your own browsers and machines, but also with others" (Schachter, 2004)

    Flickr http://www.flickr.com/ [flickr.com], a photo management and sharing web application, has a similar system of free-form tagging for photos that was adopted and modeled after Delicious. It too requires users to create a user account, and is free to join.
  • by bkhl (189311)
    The lack of synonym control is one of the reason "folksonomies" works. Even if say the tags "mac" and "macintosh" might seem like synonyms, what if someone uses the two tags "macintosh" and "clothes" together, for the other kind of macintosh? Would you like those to go under "mac" too?

    Instead, these systems works because there are so many participants, it doesn't matter if you miss 50%, 80 or 90% of them because of differing tag names.

  • by Loco3KGT (141999) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @09:11AM (#11252744)
    This is the first slashdot blurb I've ever read that left me feeling like I had no f'n clue what they're talking about. It was like reading the mental vomit of an ADD kid.
  • But but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Roland Piquepaille (780675) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @09:14AM (#11252756)
    no synonym control ( "mac" and "macintosh" on Del.icio.us)

    Aren't words what people make them to be? I mean, if many people, from the bottom up, decide that "Mac" should be primarily a synonymous of "Macintosh" (which it is, de facto), then secondarily an acronym for an ethernet card address, then for TV addicts a short for Duncan McLeod, so what? Who's to define what words mean if it's not the people who use them?

    I mean look at the French: they have something called the "French academy" that makes up a bunch of words willy-nilly every year, after much discussion, to be added to the "official" french language, but without consulting the potential users (the French). Well guess what: most of these words aren't known, let alone used, with precious few exceptions.

    So I say great: if grassroot efforts end up redefining the language, and help consolidate new words into the core language, and help create new words and expressions, I say fine. That's what defines a living language that people like and use.
    • While I'm a big fan of tagging in general and delicious in particular, the alternative argument is we'll all be driven to a version of English like the one in 1984. ++ungood.
    • I think the point is that some people are using mac, while others are using macintosh, when they're grouping their links on del.ico.us or their photos of Flickr. This means that when people want to browse what other people thought were links related to Macs, they'd have to search both terms (http://del.icio.us/tag/macintosh and http://del.icio.us/tag/mac), which defeats the purpose of the meta-grouping that's occurring.

      So while your point is valid in that language tends to define itself, in this context,
    • You seem to think this is about linguistic control, rather than taxonomic control. A Taxonomy is very different than a language.

      The distinction between formal and informal taxonomies are about value-add, inclusion, utility, and control.

      It isn't about whether words are "redefined". It is about the fact that, without standards for synonyms, taxonomies lose value, because they end up with "semantic forks", if you will, with redundant data in some places, missing data others, reduced search value, and gener

  • I'm sorry, but.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This all looks like nothing more than a filing system for the anally retentive.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm sorry, but this is not a very good idea. After it has got popular enough to attract attention, it will be ripe for abuse.

    You can just imagine what the bots will be tagging the viagra ads and nudie pics with...

    Sure, we can start with bayesian filtering and manual deletion all over again, just like with wikis and blogs. But isn't it time that we start caring about these issues before we jump on every new product?
  • I didn't get the article but I think that's not it.
    Add an entry "mac" and entry "macintosh" and point both to Apple and you have the synonyms problem solved. Many words to describe the same thing, multiple entries describing the same page.
    Worse about homonyms, where one word has several meanings. Wikipedia solves that by "disambiguation" pages.
  • Jesus.. (Score:1, Redundant)

    by NfoCipher (161094)
    ..H. Christ on a pogo stick. My brain stem just fell off.
  • by jacoplane (78110) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @09:43AM (#11252883) Homepage Journal
    Audioscrobbler [audioscrobbler.com] :
    Audioscrobbler builds a profile of your musical taste using a plugin for your media player (Winamp, iTunes, XMMS etc..). Plugins send the name of every song you play to the Audioscrobbler server, which updates your musical profile with the new song. Every person with a plugin has their own page on this site which shows their listening statistics. The system automatically matches you to people with a similar music taste, and generates personalised recommendations.
    The system also has a lot of problems with taggin music. This is because a lot of the time ID3 tags in mp3s are not done correctly. It is then possible to do tag moderation [audioscrobbler.com]. I'm not sure if this is what this article refers to as social tagging, but if it is this is a good example of it working. I've had quite a few badly labeled tracks and artists fixed this way.
    • "Audioscrobbler builds a profile of your musical taste using a plugin for your media player ... and generates personalised recommendations."

      iRate [sourceforge.net] does a similar thing, working like a radio-station for creative-commons licensed music... Rate songs on a scale 1-5, and it automatically downloads things that you might like.
  • 1) Most incomprehensible /. blurb EVAR

    2) Adam Mathes is one of those guys I always though really understood the internet as a distributed ad hoc metadata generation system. He's also pretty funny. He was one of the cofounders of the snarky webzine Uber.nu (which I used to write for). He combined the two and invented googlebombing, which earned him a certain degree of noteriety.

    3) I think there is nothing new in these criticisms of distributed ad hoc systems. It's the same with google, and wikipedia. You
    • Actually, very extensive systems of "Folk" metadata already exist. Compare classifieds, Open Directory (any dir of a portal), Usenet, Wikipedia. They contain some standard classifications but mostly Folk. Might be more informative (= wink wink, nudge nudge)
  • A few months back I wrote avar.icio.us [burri.to], which does autocompletion and dynamic suggestion of tags based purely on your own tag coincidence statistics. You can see it in action on Bowen Dwelle's site [dwelle.org]: try typing "ja" in the tags field - it should autocomplete "javascript" in the textbox and then suggest a couple more tags beneath. (This is all based on Bowen's own tags) Note that autocompletion only works in Mozilloids and IE/Win at the moment.

    A popular add-on that makes suggestions from other user's tags is
  • by hachete (473378)
    I always thought that OPML [opml.org] and Google-like search powers was the beast for this job. Is it being used? It would certainly gather together the disparate threads in a self boot-strapping manner.

    Dave Winer (of Scipting News [scripting.com] fame) always had a bee in his bonnet about this subject and on this he makes sense.
    • by yoz (3735)
      I always thought that OPML and Google-like search powers was the beast for this job. Is it being used? It would certainly gather together the disparate threads in a self boot-strapping manner.

      OPML differs in a couple of vital respects:
      1. It's hierarchical. The tag systems discussed here are deliberately flat. (One can argue for hours about the relative merits of each, but let's just say there are strong opinions on both sides)
      2. OPML takes a one-to-many approach to categorisation (one category can hold many
      • Thankyou for the clarification. It was interesting.

        You could represent the many-to-many approach in OPML by using refids (I think), which shouldn't be that hard. The implementation is slightly hard but not rocket science - tree manipulation of the DOM or running a XSLT style sheet. The worlds of OPML and delicious might then be fused together. It seems too obvious a collusion to muss.

        Certainly OPML, if the "blurbs" are to be believed, have access (in some mysterious way which I've only seen in passing)

  • All that's needed is a decent design to be built into one piece blogging software. A few people are working on it for Drupal [drupal.org]. Once one popular blogging tool has a simple and elegant solution others will adopt it, just like trackbacks.

    Personally I think the central server(s) should use something like WordNet to determine common synonyms based on context and build from there. I think the fact that the keywords come from so many people is a good thing. Instead of a few people thinking hard about how to o
  • by l3v1 (787564) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @10:11AM (#11253041)
    /* Note: this is going to be off topic, so I don't mind if it gets modded that way */ I read the damn thing at least 3 times... not that I didn't understand for first (I know about it all over, and the linked stuff) but for the plain reason that I just couldn't believe my eyes someone could put together a paragraph which sounds so totally out of language non-human gibberish all over. My head just hurts. Indeed.

  • Enable nonstochastic communication modalities by utilizing post-Bayesian non-deterministic linguistic differentiation mark-up in a non-denomenational plurisitic non-denominational rainbow-like blur of buzzword hyperbole.
  • The problem is that many modern categorisation systems assume that people know how they want to categorise their own data. They therefore aalow individuals to use whatever word/phrase they want to tag their data with. These tags can conflict both with other users (for instance one user could use "Mac" to refer to items related to Apple Macintoshes while another uses "Macintosh" and a third uses "Apple") and with themselves (when a user's nomenclature changes or they mistype).

    There are a few obvious solut
    • The problem is that many modern categorisation systems assume that people know how they want to categorise their own data. They therefore aalow individuals to use whatever word/phrase they want to tag their data with

      I think this is basically the problem Google tries to solve (http://images.google.com/ [google.com], which relates images to words, in the title of the image files and the text around it on the HTML page) -- the embedded metadata in HTML is often absent, wrong, or deliberately bogus, so the subject has to

  • MusicBrainz/Audioscrobbler have a system that lets users vote on synonyms for metadata. For instance, "The Beatles" and "Beatles, The" both point to the same group tag.
  • by 216pi (461752) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @10:16AM (#11253071) Homepage
    Del.icio.us is a bookmarking system. Joshua Schachter programmed it to have a bookmarking system and as far as I know, he did it for himself, not for the public at first.

    So, _you_ add a bookmark, _you_ tag it, so _you_ can organize your links in the way you like it. There are many ways to categorize bookmarks and the tagging system allows you to use multiple ways in one.

    I recreated del.icio.us for porn (porn-a-licious.com [porn-a-licious.com]) and something interesting happend: In the beginning, people tended to tag their posts in the usual way (hardcore, softcore, etc.). Then came people tagging their bookmarks using their favorite porn star names as tags (luba, marketa, etc.). And than came a guy starting to tag them using tags like f, ff, fm, ffm, etc. And now, most people tend to combine all or some of these types of tags.

    there is no horizontal, vertical or other buzzword-way to tag. You just start to organize your bookmarks in the way you like it. And most people may adopt the most useful tag-styles creating a huge, very well organized link list.

    You don't need a synonym control if you have enough users because if the link is important there will be someone who will post that link with tags assigned to them you would use, too. Porn.a.licious is bookmarked often on del.icio.us, and since some users still try to hide their porn-bookmarks, not all tags used were really useful (sometimes, porn.a.licious was tagged with 'cars' or something like that).
    • You know, I was always wondering how a system for porn links would work in this kind of environment.

      I always get pissed when my TGP sites do a crappy job of describing the links they have. And autopr0n still isn't up to what I feel is acceptible useability. I think this kind of system is great though. You find a couple people who have similar tastes as you, and you all contribute to each others "material".

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday January 04, 2005 @10:17AM (#11253077)
    Lots if discussion going on about fragglemat. Toxic taxidermists tipptoe on people creating their own. As seen in Flippsonomatic De.li.ri.um.
    Flicker, flicker, *wink* *wink*. ITVTVTT-TV WTF?
    Future Now makes a point in being later than yesterday. No synonyms controll mac for macintoshes. Herarchy one-word-tagged content-types.
    Jojo-Joohohoho - The Blog! Notesdiscussion What-about-what?
    Mobsinjection? Folksoflippsonomy-Calegari?
    Taggletaggle (the federated social one)?
    Wonder, wonder, google, google.
    Makes me lazy, makes me hazy.
    Tag! You are it.

    --

    I allways had the impression that slashdoters and the slashdot editors were stoned beatiks, but this guy obviously double dosed his morning share today.
  • What's a taxonomy without hierarchy? This is just simple classification for indexing and it's a shame to misuse the terminology and make all the ignorant responses above right about the whole article being a blur of buzzwords (... and, God damn it, not programming jargon!)
  • God I hate the quantization of internet culture. There's nothing more lame than some academic know it all spewing junk about how web facilities are creating fun new words.
  • I tend to want to buy a lot more stuff than I can afford. So I add books and other items to my shopping carts, such as at Amazon. My Amazon UK shopping cart has more than a hundred items, all of which I intend to buy at some point.

    Unfortunately, Amazon's shopping cart is painful to browse when it reaches that size. Also, Amazon distinguishes between the current cart and items "saved for later", and moving between them is also awkward. There's also no way to move an item from my UK shopping cart to the Ama

  • Why don't we just call it what it is, meta data?

    How hard was that !

    Arguing about the name of the thing, 'Tags', 'Folksonomies', etc. is all a load of BS as far as I am concerned. The real issue is that we have a means of attaching meta data to other datum in a way that is easy to use and easy for computer systems to digest and parse.

    There is already a standard that allows this - and even allows you to extend it as needed: XML. What is lagging behind are the tools to make that an easy process for the e
    • You are missing the point: Yes, it is about meta data, but what these terms (folksonomies, mob indexing) are describing is the phenomenon of attaching meta data without a prior defined tag vocabulary. It is an evolving tagging system and apparently well worth studying.
      • My point is, corporate entities have a vested interest in applying glitzy names to existing ideas in order to sell more product. This clouds the issues. I think the KISS principle applies here when thinking about implementation.

        My thought is to keep the concepts simple. At its simplest level we are talking about attaching meta data to existing objects. XML, for example, can be extended as you suggest - by defining new vocabulary on the fly. This can be automated to shield the nasty details from naive
  • It's in danger of becoming a bit like the Emperor's new clothers. Tagging has been around for a long time, it's just that we all got bored of doing it - meta tags that is.

    For evey page on your website you'd create a bunch of meta tags and then cross yourself three times in the hope that a decent search engine would make sense of it all.

    Of course, then Google came along and made the content of the page much more important than the author's chosen keywords, which is right, in my opinion.

    No, I unders

  • Its great that people are at last forcing/levering/coaxing the issue of the organization of information from the hands of geeks who pride them selves on never forgetting anything (but couldn't tell you what any of it means if you put a gun to their temple.)

    Remember these are the same folks who insisted on 8.3 file names and who only recently discovered desktop search.

    These are the same people who insist on interning references instead of describing relationships between data objects as exactly that,relati
  • I jumped on the del.icio.us bandwagon & my biggest pet peave is that it doesn't search for other capitalization. I run a page of LaTeX tips. I must monitor 'latex,' 'LATEX,' 'Latex,' and 'LaTeX' in order to cover most of the relevant topics. Multiply this by the number of topics you're interested in & it can grow quite annoying quite fast.

    It also doesn't differentiate between LaTeX the typesetting language & latex the emulsion of rubber or plastic globules in water. There is a high geek pop
  • That description made absolutely no sense whatsoever. What the fuck is delicious and that other thing, and what the fuck is this folk thing, and why should anyone care?

    Do editors even read this shit anymore? I should start submitting hoaxes with random abbreviations to see if it gets posted.
  • It only seems to hold as long as the controller/owner of the system succeeds in keeping porn or other aggressively commercial media out of its systems.

    When that happens, popular keywords will soon start referring to porn and such media and the designers will need to think of other ways to determine relevancy of terms/keywords/tags to an object.

    The article is interesting and relevant to any "unspoiled" community tag-database. But imo, it has little value when talking about systems that have been open for s
  • no synonym control ( "mac" and "macintosh" on Del.icio.us);

    Somewhat legitimate gripe. One thing I would like to see in del.icio.us is the ability to rename a tag. As it is, you have to create a new tag and then retag all your items with it.

    no hierarchy and content types;

    No hierarchy is exactly what I like about del.icio.us and GMail and similar systems. Hierarchies take work to maintain and your stuff never fits neatly into them. As for content types, make that part of your tagging system if y

  • I posted [al3x.net] on this very same matter back in November, though with an eye more towards sorting out such taxonomical discrepancies with code. I guess I should have hacked something up then. Still, nice to see folks thinking about the same issues.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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