TAG: Tagging

Taxonomies and Tags

In case you missed this little nugget from Thomas Vander Wal, I thought I would point your attention to it now.

Folksonomy Provides 70 Percent More Terms Than Taxonomy

The result comes from the Steve Museum, an amazing project in which people apply tags to…art. The early results from their research suggest that the words people use differ quite a bit from what the terms a museum uses.

As Thomas suggests, lots of folks are going to use tags to supplement taxonomy…but I’m wondering if that’s not a fool’s errand. More specifically, I think a taxonomy might be too rigid a tool in many cases, where a flexible navigation system, fed by the terms exposed in a folksonomy, might be a more reasonable road. Call it a taxonomy if you want…but what I’m thinking of isn’t nearly as static as most taxonomies.

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How to Prevent Valueless Design in Social Web Sites

How an over-focus on technology and visual design can hide the real value of social software.

In a fascinating piece on the amazing growth of the photo-sharing site Fotolog, Jason Kottke clearly articulates a growing problem in design:

Fotolog…relative to Flickr…has changed little in the past couple of years. Fotolog has groups and message boards, but they’re not done as well as Flickr’s and there’s no tags, no APIs, no JavaScript widgets, no “embed this photo on your blog/MySpace”, and no helpful Ajax design elements, all supposedly required elements for a successful site in the Web 2.0 era. Even now, Fotolog’s feature set and design remains planted firmly in Web 1.0 territory.”

How do sites with sub-optimal visual design and technology grow so big and become so successful?

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Folksonomies in Mac OS X?

Tagging is growing like wildfire on the Web. Maybe it can work on the desktop, too.

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Pew Study: 28% of Online Americans are Taggers

In a Tagging Report released just yesterday, this number from the Pew Internet and American Life Project is astounding.

28% of online folks have tagged content (U.S)

At first glance this number seems extremely high. Over 1/4 of online Americans have tagged content? This is way more than the single digit %s (or lower) that have been reported previously (Dave Weinberger reports seeing 0.5%).

However, there may be more merit to the number than it may seem…

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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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Why do People Tag?

Gene Smith has a nice cheat sheet of this important article on tagging systems. He quotes the article (which I had read quite some time back, but now with renewed interest) “The motivations to tag can be categorized into two high-level practices: organizational and social. The first arises from the use of tagging as an […]

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Why Scale Matters in Tagging Systems

Why and how scale in social tagging systems can leverage the Wisdom of Crowds (much like Google does with links) to make the incorrect tags less influential than certain Aristotelians would have us believe. Ok, so I got into hot water for my Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture post… But I’m completely […]

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Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

Editor’s Note: (I have written a follow-up to this piece: More Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture. Since I wrote this piece, I’ve had many conversations with information architects and designers alike, and in the new piece I’ve tried to really outline the problem: IA at its most basic is the wrong frame […]

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Flickr’s Geotags Feature: Wow!

Flickr, the popular photo-sharing web app, continues to innovate with their latest feature, geotagging. Geotagging allows people to attach location-based coordinates to photos they’ve taken, essentially adding location metadata to the picture so that everybody knows where it was taken. This is a great social feature, and one that I think is worth inspecting in-depth.

At first glance, geotagging doesn’t seem that exciting. You’re simply adding coordinates to pictures, right? But after taking one look at some of the early activity that Flickr users are doing with it, combined with the additional magic of mapping and search that the Flickr folks have included, and you might wonder why every site isn’t clamboring to add tags and geotagging to their arsenal. (I bet many will soon be considering it)

Here’s the skinny on the feature…

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