Matt McAlister » Challenging why (and how) people tag things
I like tags, but I agree with Matt, that there is not enough intelligence in how tagging works. I posted about this before, and the need for Technorati to improve spam elimination associated with tags. This piece on tagging is more aimed at de.licio.us and ma.gnolia tagging. The latter is a little better because of the interface, and spaces in multiple word tags, but we still have a long way to go.
In my mind, tags are hugely valuable. They expose important meta data at an abstraction level that was previously hidden in the Internet user interface. They are connective tissue allowing data sources to talk to each other in meaningful ways. And human-edited tags can balance the inaccuracies of machine automation that happens in any indexing exercise.
What’s missing from the tagging world is automatic learning. People shouldn’t have to find the ‘save’ button, click it, fill in tags, and hit save. My browser history says a lot about what interests me. The time I spend on a page says a lot about what I value. Any social activities I initiate or receive can inform a machine what the world around me thinks about.
I would add to the automatic saving, automated suggestions, and ensuring I don’t make tags with different word combinations for the same thing (e.g. social networks, social networking, social computing) where obviously I mean the same thing with all three.
Relevance to Bankwatch:
I remain convinced tags will fit with online banking eventually, but the model isn’t clear yet. Something to watch.