ARCHIVE: January, 2007

Is there an Example of a Usable Folksonomy?

Yesterday I asked for an example of a scalable taxonomy.

Whether I meant to or not, I was assuming that the taxonomy’s cousin, the folksonomy, scales well. And most folks who wrote in or commented seemed to agree with that. So the next question is: are there any usable folksonomies out there?

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Is there an Example of a Scalable Taxonomy?

Kevin Gamble (via Dave Weinberger):

“Is there any living, breathing example of a taxonomic approach working (scaling) to keep-up with the hyper-efficiency we see in peer-production systems? I’m being quite serious here. Can you point me to a working model?.”

Why is this an important question?

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Starting a Social App? Find a niche and work outward

In the early stages of starting a social web app, startups often wonder what group of people would make for good early adopters. What group should we focus our development and marketing efforts on?

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Hilary Clinton Uses Yahoo Answers

Two days ago, Hilary Clinton posted a question to Yahoo Answers: “Based on your own family’s experience, what do you think we should do to improve health care in America?” This is amazing on several levels. One, Clinton is actually asking the American people what they think, rather than assuming or generalizing from the party […]

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Tip for Amazon Designers: Lots of Folks Don’t Know How to Exclude Gifts from Recommendations

Amazon should make the ability to remove purchased items from recommendations much more apparent. Rashmi Sinha gave a great talk on Recommendation Systems at the UIE Web App Summit yesterday. I was like a kid in a candy store…it’s one of my favorite topics and Rashmi is a true expert on the topic. At one […]

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MySpace sued over predator assaults

I just read about how four families are suing MySpace after their children were assaulted by someone they met on the site. I hate this sort of stuff because something horrible happened and there is no clear answer to who is accountable and why. There are two parts to this problem. The first part is […]

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Visual and Social Design

Some weeks ago I asked Do MySpace Users Have Bad Taste? There’s an increasing tension between visual design and web site success, and that’s what I’m trying to figure out. There are so many sites that have become successful with mediocre (or just plain bad) visual design that somethings gotta give. How does MySpace succeed […]

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What is Dunbar’s Number?

Dunbar’s Number, proposed by British Anthropologist Robin Dunbar, measures the “cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships”. The number, which approximates to 150, would seem to have important implications for social design. It suggests that there is an upper-limit to the number of meaningful relationships we […]

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The iPhone or Marriage: which is the ultimate lock-in?

I wonder if Cory Doctorow believes in marriage. Or, if like his latest Boing Boing piece: iPhone – the roach motel business model, he disagrees with it on the basis that it is the ultimate “lock-in”. I ask in all sincerity because “lock-in” isn’t so bad if you like what you have. If, for example, […]

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Pew Study on Social Networking and Kids

If you haven’t seen this yet, check it out. It’s a Pew Study on the time teens spend on social networking sites. Pew Internet: Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview Here’s the big story: most teens use the “networking” sites to hang out with the friends they already have. It’s networking in the sense […]

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