The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


...the buzz around tagging is not because we can create tags to help ourselves, but that we can create tags that will help others.

from The Tagging Hall of Shame: Amazon by Jennifer Golbeck.

The buzz is misplaced or misreported in my opinion. This whole idea of social tagging has not been investigated and yet claims are made against it all the time.

I use tagging every day on Blinklist and Flickr. It is great, a real revolution in how I organise my data. I honestly wish I could do the same for local and networked files, for my email (through Thunderbird), for my music and every other bit of data I own, produce or consume.

But I don't tag for others.

For instance on Blinklist (or to be popular) I have very rarely gone searching for items by tags. When I have done it has been for a specific case e.g. a person or service name. More commonly I will do a Google search.

I have used social tags more on Flickr but the impact has still been far less than what it has been to my personal organisation habits.

From the article also one sees that people are using the tags for purely personal purposes; Next book to read, Gift for dad, Good book, etc. Those are tags by people who want to come back and pickup where they left off or for making a list of potential gifts.


Anonymous Jennifer Golbeck said...

I totally agree with you, Paul. As a mechanism for organizing one's own data, tagging is a great thing. The social tagging, buzz, as I mentioned it in the blog entry you quoted really does seem to be misplaced in a lot of senses. I see potential (which I should write about in this week's post), but nothing yet that comes close to giving a similar benefit as what is received for personal organization.

6:53 AM


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