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Monday, August 08, 2005

Matthew Hurst On Tags

Last Friday Matthew Hurst [CoCreator of BlogPulse] gave a good technical description of why folksonomy tags aren't all that. I just started reading his blog a few weeks ago but it's chocked with technical genius and commentary, especially in the world of blog search. Since blog search is going to play a much larger role in the world of search [as we know it] in the coming months and years, I suggest you subscribe to Matt's rss feed. Need to know about data mining, content aggregation, pattern recognition, nuances of blog searching? Then get on it, he's posting daily and right now bloglines only has 10 subscribers to his feed [what a travesty]!

Here are a couple of quotes from Matt's post on the Trouble with Tags.
"First of all, tags on text are not metadeta. You can not legislate metadata by a syntactic construct. In other words, tags are just words. It is only when tags become references to a new system of symbols with a clear relationship to object data that they can be called metadata."

He goes on to say...
"When I look at my referrer log, I can see which tags bring more traffic. With a simple utilitarian model of a blog author, how do you think I would react to that knowledge?"

Can you say spam? That was one of the first problems I had with tags from day 1. They're so easily manipulated and don't provide the type of value everyone wants us to think they do. Sure, combine them with social networking and you get some level of filtering but my friends working on radio towers could tag a post with the term scale [climbing up a building] while my friends at Google could tag a post with scale and they're referring to the ability of a web site or application to handle lots of requests.

Keep and eye on Matt's blog, he's smart and gives great insight on stuff that matters in the world of data analysis.

By Jason Dowdell at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)

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