Links for 2005-01-20

5 replies on “Links for 2005-01-20”

Even though MetaFilter relies on links mostly, it should be thought of like Flickr, where you create something unique, and then tag it yourself (and optionally, your friends can help). This is backwards from how delicious is, where everyone has a copy of the same thing with their own tags. I saw a unique post on metafilter by a single member to be like a photo on flickr, not a link on delicious, and coded it appropriately.
As to why it is useful, the idea is to mine the archives, so that when you make a post about music or art or flash or an ipod and tag it as such, upon reloading, you’ll be plunged into a list of other similar posts going back six years of archives.

We’re working on a similar thing for Whedonesque. Hopefully it will help prevent double posts. Searching by tag may prove to be more efficient than our not particularly effective search engine.

I guess the thing I find confusing is that on the main reason to tag stuff is so that you can find it later and the social benefits are glorious but secondary. On Flickr too – the imperative is for you to tag stuff so you can find it later, but order manifests out of that stuff in aggregate. That doesn’t appear to be quite the same on Metafilter’s implementation. Now I do get the kind of altruistic model – that people will do these things to create something larger than themselves – you only have to look at wikipedia to see that – but I’m not sure that it’s a model that makes sense to a large range of people. On the other hand, you’ve got an established culture, so maybe it’ll work really well. Dunno.

I’m a little cynical about the way everyone’s gone tag-crazy. Tags are intrinsic to Flickr and, especially, – both sites I like and use. Incidentally, I find the openness of a self-defined tag system to be exciting but so full of possibilities that I can often never produce, or stick to, a taxonomy that will be truly useful for me in the future. The way I use beautiful, lovely, darling Flickr’s tags is, I tag just about everything, but not so that I can find it later (I’ve got the calendars and sets for that) – more, so that a) I can easily find *other* people’s photos on the same topic and b) they can find mine. My view on tags is that they create value in large systems like the blogosphere or… photosphere… but I wonder how smaller systems lilke individual sites can benefit.

Yeah, I guess I decoupled the tags from the individual authors because I use Flickr’s “all photos by all users tagged foo” quite often, and tried to replicate that as the default for MetaFilter.
The problem it solves on MetaFilter is that there are 36,000 posts about any topic on earth, so it was good to get some way to organize things in an organic way, without trying to come up with the perfect taxonomy for it.
And actually, I was going to do this a year ago for Ask MetaFilter, before the tag explosion really got started, and it was mainly because I didn’t want sub/sub/sub categories of everything. I didn’t want to replicate DMOZ or Yahoo’s gigantic taxonomy and instead let people just put keywords on everything that were hotlinked and search able.
Since Ask MetaFilter is all about research and searching, plunging into the archives is an important thing that is currently only date-based, which is almost useless.

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