SLA 23 Things Week 3: Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati

Posted on November 3, 2008
Filed Under SLA23Things, Social Networking, Web2.0 | Leave a Comment

I was glad to see the deadline for completing SLA’s 23Things extended to December 15th. I’ve had a busy few months of back to back and overlapping projects. Now that I have a bit of breathing room, I’m picking 23Things up again.

delicious

I’ve had a delicious account for a while. I’ve made a start at organizing my many bookmarks into categories, though this is going slowly. I have yet to go through my uploaded bookmarks file, which I’ve left as private for the time-being, so I can go through and review them and check for broken links. All of this takes time, so in the mean time, I use the search function to find what I know, or at least think, is in the mishmash.

Some things I need to work on: amalgamate some tags (think “controlled vocabulary”) I’ve applied on the run. Trying to sort out which to use – my cataloguer’s idea of what I think they should be, or be consistent with what others are using. I started out using an underscore between two (or more) word tags, but have now opted for a one-word tag, capitalizing the first letter of each of the multiple words making up the individual tag. Checking out other people’s tags while searching for one of my favourite subjects, boxers [dogs], I find their other tags include: dog, dogs, dog_breeds, boxer_dogs, dog-health, boxers, boxer.

I confess to not using delicious to its full advantage. Though I’ve been diligently adding new sites in addition to my uploaded FireFox bookmarks, I haven’t used it very often as a discovery tool. I’ll be doing that more often now, though.

One thing I’ve noticed: few people have added notes to their delicious bookmarks. I tend to add them (often an excerpt from the web resource itself) to provide  information additional to my tags. This provides context and scope and reminds me why I thought bookmarking the site was worthwhile in the first place.

One of the biggest disadvantages of tagging for me is confusing tags. Reflecting back on my search for “boxers,” there is no way to distinguish the dog breed from the apparel, the athlete or the personal name. Not everyone adds the additional tag “dog” or “dogs” to disambiguate among the three meanings..” As well, some people use the singular form of a tag, while others use the plural form – and delicious doesn’t collapse these into one search results set if you enter only one form of the tag. I was particularly pleased to note that delicious supports Boolean logic. I searched on “(boxer OR boxers) (dog OR dogs)” and was able to get a good selection of sites to check.

Technorati

I found the article by one of my AIIP (and SLA) colleagues, information guru Mary Ellen Bates, “Mining Technorati” to be especially informative, prompting me to explore this excellent blog search resource further. Her suggestion to use the authority search to find influential bloggers in specific fields is an excellent one and I’ll be adding this to my arsenal of research steps.

Recapping, things I’ve done during this week’s session:

Things I’d still like to do, at a later date when I have more time:

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