WebVisions: Tagging – Emerging Trends

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

geneGene smith

  • nForm (user expert consultant )
  • blogger
  • author.

Voodoo Donuts = donut porn

When was metadata invented?

As soon as or before the first data. Even culture that never developed written language still used matadata – Incas

Railroads in 1900s drove advancements in metadata.

Filing cabnets virtical filing and tabs really changes record keeping in the 1900s – reason why we still have Folders on our computers

Yahoo vs google

Hierarchy vs search

Not explosion… A stream.


Financial tagging (He shows example where he only has $22 in his savings… Need to buy his book).

Uses bubble up tagging song album artist


FF browser plugin.

When appling tags it shows you related tag concepts and shows defn. “ny” “nyc” “big apple”.

They mine wikipedia to get definitions. This is second generation user created content.


Gold standard. Shows similarities. Largest library catalog in world.

Created ways to merge tags. Can see changes. Wiki like community.

Can split up tags humor vs humour… Sociosmantic differences.

Automanual Folksonomy

Etsy everything is handmade and unique.
Catagories might be limiting
Only controls top level. Then suggests tags. These tag relations are used to create standard navigation.


Groups tags. Then you can punch out tags to refine your results. They then use tag mashes to help approximate evergrewn caragory taxonomy. Predefined by lib of congress

Manual work does not scale. However a little structure can give a lot of value to encourage automannual.

Lookup peter van dijick

Sparking innovation.

Flikr is example. Where rss is created for every tag even if only used once. This is how geotagging evolved

  • Market tag 2 machine tags geotagged + geo:lat=46733… + geo:lon=345345
  • In 2005 this was usually entered by hand.
  • Tools then created tools to make use of the tags.
  • Dan Catt user was hired by flickr.


  • More structure
  • Automannual folksonomy
  • Leveraging communities

Great questions and discussion

  • Freetag php plugin. Lots of functionality built in. No support though.
  • GeneSmith.ca

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