Principles of tagging

Tagsonomy is introducing a new member, Don Turnbull - an Assistant Professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches a couple of courses related to issues that could revolve around tagging, including a course on what he calls "Knowledge Management Systems" as well as "Web Information Retrieval, Evaluation & Design" and even about designing information systems from the perspective of "Information Architecture & Design".

Don's first post is on tag_good vs. tag_bad?

"Tags are good because:

  • They show a user’s view of the data,
  • When in a hypertext system, they provide easy ways to sort and browse data,
  • They help with search because they may offer additional keywords for a resource that aren’t in the original resource,
  • Experts are not good at describing every possible keyword or concept that may apply
  • Tags are additional (meta)data that can be analyzed by information retrieval systems

Tags are bad because:

  • Experts may be a little better at describing resources (assuming that experts are the one posting and creating the resources in question),
  • Tags may be too focused on one community of users for wide utility,
  • Once tagged, a dynamic resource may change, but the tags may not necessarily be updated to reflect this change,
  • Tags are just another system of resource identification to spam, spoof and game (especially tags as links to Web pages)".

Although this covers his post, the richness is in the comments. Since we support internal tags as well as external tags in 3rd party systems ( and technorati, et al), we face many of the mentioned situations. However, our primary purpose is to deliver a rich-information environment that connects people, places, and things to ideas and information. We never stop trying to make you the first to know the meaning and context of:

  1. who, what, where, when, how, and why,
  2. questions, answers, concepts, solutions, problems and ideas,
  3. to get your work done.

Tagging in general is used heavily in Ideascape as a method to make it easy to define information from a users point of view. ...learn more about tagging and social software, and Missed Opportunities?