To Tag or Not to Tag, That Is the Question

For those who feel some overdose of hype in recent posts about folksonomies, folksologies, tagging and the like, this is a useful antidote (sort of) by John C. Dvorak in PC Magazine

Enter yet another more baffling attempt at tagging. This one is fascinating since it's been gussied up with a new name, and for some unknown reason been given the blessing of a bunch of brain-dead bloggers. This is because a few of the favorite sites that the bloggers love have tacitly approved of the so-called—get this—"folksonomy tags." Oh, a new term! This one is a laugh riot, since there is nothing new here except the new name: Folksonomy. I mean even in HTML there was the "metatag."

No, no. This is different because, uh well, uh, lemme think. It just is!

The current fave sites amongst the cognoscenti have adopted the idea of public tags, and a number of influential bloggers have jumped on board pumping up the concept and re-promoting that old rusty saw, "the semantic Web." The semantic Web is a dead duck, let me assure you.

... and so on.

1 comment:

  1. I certainly won't argue with Dvorak on the "Semantic Web" being a dead duck — I've been saying this for years, as well as trying to point where the real work has been going on: in the library community. I think most people's concepts of libraries will change radically in the next few years.

    I was a bit surprised to hear Dvorak mistakenly say

    "I recall a crazy concept back around 1997–1998, whereby you'd surf through a proxy system that allowed you to overlay entire Web sites with your comment 'foil.' Others could use the same system to comment on your comments or put up their own overlay. In many ways this is the subtext that developed into what today are known as wikis."

    Ward Cunningham's first wiki went public in 1995, so it predates that "crazy concept." In hanging around in the wiki community, it is clear that the idea of communally-edited content has a high and underestimated value. It's just never had any flash, and the Web has sadly been focused waaaay too much on flash. The wiki technology, despite being so old (relatively, in Web years) is still rather primitive — by design — though I imagine this will change very soon, as the world is now beginning to focus its attention on it.


Comments welcome