Hi. I upgraded to WordPress 2.3 today because I just noticed a bug in the tagging plug-in I was using which means that any time I approved a comment for a particular post, the tags associated with that post vanished. Pretty weird huh? WordPress 2.3 has native tag support which means no more wonky plugin/WP interactions. It also has — hidden in the manage > import > section — a tag importer that will either import your tags from popular tag plugins or import your categories as tags. This is all good news. I managed to do the entire thing in about 20 minutes including adding tags to my current template, adding the tag cloud, downloading new versions of a few other plug-ins, and re-doing the little hacks I always make to my WordPress install including a custom stylesheet, removal of all the extra cruft from the dashboard, and pulling in a del.icio.us feed of the “addme” tag into my now blank dashboard area. Here are a few links that were helpful to me in doing this upgrade
Me and the nice people from MetaFilter are starting an ambitious back-tagging project where a team of volunteers will be adding tags to the 42,000 posts that were on the website before we added the tagging functionality. We’re hoping that this will make it easier to track down double-posts and related posts and make browsing the site via tags a little more thorough. I envy sites like Flickr that have had tags since the beginning, doing it this way is hard and not at all optimal. In any case, if you have a MetaFilter login and would like to do a little volunteer tagging, please drop me an email or (preferably) an IM with your usernumber and I can get you set up.
The Missouri Botanical Garden is tagging the illustrations in their collection using volunteers and a shared del.icio.us account. They call this approach TagSwarming. Here is their tag cloud, and here is the blog entry from the digital library guy who created this project. They are always looking for helpers, if this sort of project idea intrigues you.
How great is it to be able to see the tag cloud of the materials in your library catalog? How many ways can you slice this and it comes out interesting? This is based on a mock-up that Jenny did, only Davey took it one step further and, um, did it. Words fail me. Wow.
Hi. I’ve been reading Jakob Nielsen’s Homepage Usability book and have made some modifications to my sidebar to make some of my stuff a little more findable. Any of you rss readers who wants to remind themselves about the lovely orangeness of my home page, here’s a link: librarian.net. My to do list includes getting some solid archive links up, and getting my tag cloud visible. The current incarnation of the tag cloud just shows my top ten tags which, while interesting, doesn’t tell the whole story.
Here are the notes for the short talk I gave today: Flickr, Tagging and the F-Word. I’ll see if Jenny’s are around, she had a lot more examples and expanded a lot on this one small area I talked about. Talk was well-received, thanks if you were one of the people in attendance.
I bet you will like findability guru Peter Morville’s article on Authority [in the librarian sense] even more than you might otherwise because of its beautiful design and high readability.
You see, tags are only the visible, superficial symbols of a much deeper, more interesting revolution in findability and authority. Wikipedia doesn’t beat Britannica because it has better folksonomies. It wins because it’s more findable. And its success didn’t come without structure. In fact, the Wikipedia has a traditional information architecture (with strong design conventions and a fixed left-hand navigation bar) and a traditional governance model (with Jimbo Wales and his Board of Trustees as the ultimate corporate authority).
Please go read this very long article about classification: Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags. I know it looks like it’s about computers, but it is also about libraries and tags, and sense-making and why you can’t gracefully take library classification schemes and slap them on to web pages. Go. Go now and read and learn.
It’s tempting to think that the classification schemes that libraries have optimized for in the past can be extended in an uncomplicated way into the digital world. This badly underestimates, in my view, the degree to which what libraries have historically been managing an entirely different problem.
It comes down ultimately to a question of philosophy. Does the world make sense or do we make sense of the world? If you believe the world makes sense, then anyone who tries to make sense of the world differently than you is presenting you with a situation that needs to be reconciled formally, because if you get it wrong, you’re getting it wrong about the real world…. If, on the other hand, you believe that we make sense of the world, if we are, from a bunch of different points of view, applying some kind of sense to the world, then you don’t privilege one top level of sense-making over the other.