O.K., I admit it. I am becoming a tag snob. Yeah, it is the del.icio.us equivalent of wanting an alligator on my polo shirt.
I recently saw an excellent article on data mining. Burningbird writes, “Suddenly, the hip and cool kids on the block can ‘do’ algorithms.” And, I think, “I’m hip; I can do algebra,” so I hit Ctrl-Shift-S to create an entry in my del.icio.us page.
But, being a tag snob, I don’t stop there. Oh, no. With delicious linkbacks, I check to see who else has linked to this story. Then I evaluate how they have tagged the article.
If I like the way someone has tagged the article and have the time, I then go to that person’s delicious page and give her or his ontology the once over. Only then, if how they tag and what they tag meets my high standards, might I add the person to my del.icio.us subscriptions to gather, a.k.a. “mine”, what other things that person will be linking.
Oh, I am a terrible, terrible tag snob. Heck, even this post has the Burningbird Seal of Disdain, ark ark.
A few links later…
Scott A. Golder and Bernardo A. Huberman with Information Dynamics Lab, HP Labs, have written about just this sort of thing in their paper, “The Structure of Collaborative Tagging Systems“:
Collaborative tagging describes the process by which many users add metadata in the form of keywords to shared content. Recently, collaborative tagging has grown in popularity on the web, on sites that allow users to tag bookmarks, photographs and other content. In this paper we analyze the structure of collaborative tagging systems as well as their dynamical aspects. Specifically, we discovered regularities in user activity, tag frequencies, kinds of tags used, bursts of popularity in bookmarking and a remarkable stability in the relative proportions of tags within a given URL. We also present a dynamical model of collaborative tagging that predicts these stable patterns and relates them to imitation and shared knowledge.