IU Technology Architecture Lodge
Random and not so random thoughts from Raymond Yee, primarily on the scholarly and educational use of the Web, libraries, educational technology, and information management


Print friendly version

Scholar's Box Essay Series

Current Projects

Presentations and Papers

Work on Educational Technology Interop

RY's wiki

RY's personal blog

About This Site

About Raymond Yee

Interactive University

Contact RY

My blogroll

RSS 2.0 feed for this site


IU Technology Architecture Lodge

Permanent link to archive for 6/30/05. Thursday, June 30, 2005

The academy should jump in there with tagging! #
Peter Brantley wrote in reference to Yahoo My Web 2.0 and perhaps social bookmarking in general (shimenawa: Community Search and Scholarly Communication.):
    If the Academy thinks that tagging and social search is useful, how will it overcome the laziness problem? How will it softly encourage or suggest appropriate or useful tags? Embedding this type of positive reinforcement into a tagging community has not been well addressed.

No one knows the the long-term usefulness of tagging, let alone in the academy. My sense is that there's a whole lot of experimentation going on, a shared feeling that something important is afoot, and the fear among big players that if they don't jump on it with something service now, they may miss out on the next-big-thing. I look forward to seeing what actually happens with the experiments, to seeing whether the academy will value tagging. While I wait for research findings to sort out the longitudinal evidence, I'd want to be part of the grand experiments. I'll add my own personal observations based on my limited experiences with social bookmarking:

  • I have found tagging to be immensely helpful in Flickr, though a huge number of my pictures remain untagged (6178 out of 8264 as of writing). It would easy to think, hey, 3/4 of his pictures are not tagged...but I am just pleased that 2000 of my pictures are tagged -- 2000 more than without a tagging system to begin with.

  • I'd be interested in using the various social bookmarking systems if using them could be easily integrated into my workflow. Sometimes, I am willing to make the effort to push a URL into del.icio.us, extracting a key quote, and carefully tagging the entry. Most of the time, I just want to save the URL just so that I might be able to find it later. For many URLs, I'd love to have a software agent that would send all the URLs it would harvest from all of my documents (my email, my blogs, my wikis, my entries on mailing lists, my Word documents, my browser history) that I either read or write during a given day. And because I don't want to limit myself to a given system (since I want to use delicious, unalog, CiteULike, connotea, Yahoo's MyWeb 2.0), I would like the software agent to synchronize my URLs among all the systems I use. Finally, I'd like to have some software that would let me more eaily navigate the emerging social networks that cluster around the tags and references. (I wouldn't be surprised to find systems that start to get at this level of functionality and would be grateful to readers would could point them out.)

  • Now again, I'm not sure how useful all this tagging is in the long term -- but I'm thrilled enough with what tagging can do that I would like to associate tags with any element in my information space, down to the most finegrain element (e.g., a specific letter in a Word document). Tags allow a break from strict hierarchical organizational schemes. For example, I think that the tagging mechanism in gmail is cool but would like that to be in my current email client of choice Thunderbird. (The last I looked, there was no tagging; perhaps an extension can be written to introduce tags into Thunderbird -- if it hasn't already been done.)

  • As I create more tags in different places, they become an increasingly important entity in their own right. In the early days of my playing with Flickr, I thought that if Flickr were to disappear, I'd still be happy because I have all the original photos. As time goes by, I realize that having the pictures in Flickr has generated a lot of surrounding metadata: tags, comments, backlinks. All of that metadata would be lost to me if Flickr went out of business today because I've not backed up that metadata. It is funny to think that the surrounding tags might be of equal value to the original images in some cases.

Now I still have to figure out how my own observations and wants relate to want the academy as a whole might find useful. It's time to experiment, to ask, and to find out.

Posted by Raymond Yee on 6/30/05; 10:51:33 AM
from the Unclassified dept.


Google has released APIs for its maps #

Google has released APIs for its maps -- a very exciting development.  See my wiki for more information and a simple demo.

Posted by Raymond Yee on 6/30/05; 10:30:46 AM
from the Web Technology dept.


Yahoo's MyWeb 2.0 #
Yahoo's MyWeb 2.0 is, at first blush, Yahoo's entry into the social bookmarking realm. The immediate question on the minds of several (including mine) is how it compares to del.icio.us. Yahoo! My Web 2.0 Quick Review offers a comparison.

I'm glad to see at least some basic support for the new service in the Yahoo APIs: My Web Documentation for Yahoo! Search Web Services.

Being at Berkeley, I'm intrigued that Stanford's TAP project is running Tags on TAP:

    Tags on TAP combines the knowledge from several web sites and news feeds with the Yahoo! My Web 2.0 tagging system to provide synonym suggestions for traditional keyword tags. Both synonyms, such as suggesting 'porcelain' for 'china', as well as hypernyms, such as 'animal' for 'dog', are suggested. The system also tries to find related suggestions such as 'china' for 'beijing'.

A analysis of Yahoo's My Web 2.0 from Many-to-Many: Yahoo Social Search, Act II:

    I got a sneak peak at this. You can save, annotate and tag any webpage -- and then share it with two degrees of separation in your Yahoo 360 network, or, everyone. Social discovery happens around time, people, locations and topics.

    The timing of this release may have to do with Google Personalized Search. I slammed Yahoo for not moving from Personalization to Socialization once, and don't need to repeat myself.

Other links:

Posted by Raymond Yee on 6/30/05; 10:02:16 AM
from the Web Technology dept.


June 2005
May   Jul

Last update: Thursday, June 30, 2005 at 10:51:33 AM.

This site is using the Vanilla Manila 1999 theme.
The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of California, Berkeley. Nor should the opinions or statements expressed herein be taken as a position of or endorsement of the University of California, Berkeley. Links on these pages to commercial sites do not represent endorsement by the University of California or its affiliates.