September 2nd, 2006

attractor

Social tagging ambiguity

It bothers me that a tag can be used for both instances of a thing as well as analysis or description of that thing. For example, if "databases" is a del.icio.us tag, then you can use it to file both articles on sql (article about databases) and nutrition data search sites (a particular database). Up to now I've dealt with this on del.icio.us by using arbitrarily different tags for these purposes, like "databases" for the sql articles and "reference" or "data" for the information collections, or as another example "cooking" for techniques or ideas related to cooking in general and "recipes" for specific recipes. Still, this requires maintaining a personalized convention, and I thought the point of tagging in the first place was the transparency of it which leads to useful social aggregation.