[Fwd: Fwd: [delicious-discuss] 6,411,975,779 hand written labels]

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <stefanom_at_mit.edu>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 12:11:48 -0500

Joshua is the guy who created del.icio.us

I can't help thinking that "don't be such a librarian" should become the
semweb's motto as well!

del.icio.us folksonomy reached 6.5 billion tags. Impressive.

It's is a flat list of unnamespaced, non-unique strings, but del.icio.us
datamodel is in fact a graph, because there are three node types:

  - web pages
  - people
  - tags

each person links one or more web pages and each web page links one or
more tags.

If you combine del.icio.us's and google's databases, I bet there is
enough information to disambiguate and create a more structured taxonomy
out of those tags in a completely automated and emergent fashion (which
is the style I like).

In short, avoiding to be such librarians ;-)

Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu

attached mail follows:

Good advise from Joshua :-) - ben

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Joshua Schachter <joshua_at_burri.to>
> Date: January 11, 2005 7:11:36 PM EST
> To: Saul Albert <saul_at_twenteenthcentury.com>
> Cc: "delicious-discuss_at_lists.burri.to"
> <delicious-discuss_at_lists.burri.to>
> Subject: Re: [delicious-discuss] 6,411,975,779 hand written labels
> Don't be such a librarian.
> -j
>> Just a quick suggestion for those who have the skills....
>> In the terms of the emerging discourse on this subject, tags and
>> categories are
>> positioned at opposite ends of a taxonomical spectrum. Tags are
>> intuitive,
>> subjective, messy, creative, emergent, sexy. Categories are stale,
>> old, dusty,
>> boring, a chore etc. etc.
>> Listening to Jo Walsh hold forth on the subject, or looking at how
>> Wilfried Hou
>> Je Bek's 'taxonomy of my room'
>> http://socialfiction.org/Tax_of_a_Room.html
>> mixes and matches them the distinction between them is far less
>> clear. The
>> costs and benefits of either have been debated on this list and
>> others, and
>> some people have come up with lots of interesting, and compelling
>> uses for
>> del.icio.us's tagging system - which is definitely one of the most
>> compelling
>> features, while millenia of thinking about categories have *also*
>> produced some
>> pretty interesting ideas :). What I find fascinating about taxonomy
>> aside from
>> these formal properties is how humans use it to communicate with each
>> other -
>> to move about, do stuff, to tidy their rooms, or throw everything into
>> confusion.
>> Ludic experiments at the uo Faculty of Taxonomy (see Anne Laforet's
>> Photo
>> Categories and straight Categories experiments:
>> http://twenteenthcentury.com/uo/index.php/PhotoCategories)
>> http://twenteenthcentury.com/uo/index.php/CateGories have concluded
>> the basic
>> fact that taxnonomy is only fun and interesting when it's a
>> negotiation - some
>> kind of struggle to agree on meaning between groups of people who are
>> interested in persuading you that what they're saying and using makes
>> sense.
>> So I'm proposing a kind of tag-brokerage system. A system by which
>> people can
>> form epistomology gangs who decide to share tags, and declare a
>> concensually
>> decided-upon meaning and remit for them. That's when tags can start
>> to become
>> categories, grouped, separated, weeded, updated, expanded etc..
>> The sensible constitutional starting point for such a brokerage, as
>> Jo W has
>> pointed indicated, would be a nomic like system:
>> http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/nomic.htm.
>> Epistemological gangs could, of course, form alliances and make
>> inter-gang
>> deals to extend their combind abilities to make meaning. A giant
>> on-line game,
>> repeatedly cross-referencing and indexing the 6,411,975,779
>> hand-written labels
>> attached to very object, concept, and system that could ever exist.
>> -- http://chinabone.lth.bclub.org.uk/~saul/
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Received on Wed Jan 12 2005 - 17:10:50 EST

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