Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Tagyu :: Your tags, smarter:

You enter some text or a URL, and the site suggests appropriate tags. I'm seeing a lot of tools that try to automate authorities and thus solve one of the big problems of tagging - the wild disparity in tags. Also see lazy sheep, a bookmarklet that purports to automatically tag and describe your bookmarks. I've tried lazy sheep, and it seems pretty simplistic in terms of its assignments. I don't know what the logic is, but if I had to guess I'd say it's based on word lists and associations.

Rashmi Sinha has some interesting objections to lazy sheep. One is that it "dilutes" the value of by trying to force a homogeneity of tagging onto all users. He's right, I think, and his point illustrates one of the major tensions at the heart of tagging: audience.

The main difference between tagging and library classification is that tagging attempts to be simultaneously idiosyncratic and collective. In other words, wants to serve as a centralized store for your bookmarks, tagged the way you see it, while also serving as the OPAC for the Web. Lazy sheep is definitely on the OPAC side of the fence.

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