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March 13, 2006

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Tomoaki Sawada

Bill, this entry reminds me of the intersting Blog entry by Rashmi Shinha of Uzanto

A social analysis of tagging
(or how tagging transforms the solitary browsing experience into a social one)
http://www.rashmisinha.com/archives/06_01/social-tagging.html

She analyses "the "why" of tagging. Why do people tag" from cognitive science POV.

She says, For many, tagging is for sharing their own information and watching others. Even if you tag mostly to remember your own stuff, it is difficult to remain untouched by the presence of others.

Her previous post
"A cognitive analysis of tagging
(or how the lower cognitive cost of tagging makes it popular)"
http://www.rashmisinha.com/archives/05_09/tagging-cognitive.html
was also brilliant in that it tells the person like me to nod at "Aha, this is the reason I tag..."

Denham Grey

Bill,

Have you published on this topic again? I'm very interested in seeing your feedback from the gathering.

Some thoughts:

> - Can you fully exploit Knowledge Assets in the form of documents without categorizing them?

I do not think so. But the important issues are getting buy-in rather than imposing a classification and having pointers to the context and people not just the information and solution.

> - How is contextual content best understood and presented?

Patterns and pattern language handle this well by making the context mandatory & explicit, defining areas which are not applicable and pointing to related patterns.

> - Is automatic categorizing working for some (or all) of your content?

Not on it's own. It helps to bootstrap the work but can give very poor rsults if not watched over.

> - Does taxonomy or navigated search have a place in your organization? Is it available and used?

I see these as two separate activities. A taxonomy (tags, or controlled) is useful for finding related objects. Visual navigation (The Brain, Insight, web site maps, SNA....) allow you to 'see' related concepts and suggests new paths

> - When is key-word, free-text or Google style searching good enough?

Almost never. You need pointers and hooks to the author, visual display of related concepts, extraction & verification of key concepts rather than key words.

> - Are you clear about which approach is needed and for what circumstances?

The best approach seems to combine automatic thematic extraction with keywords / phrases, visual maps and botton up tags. Tagging often fits best where the content is user owned and generated (blogs, images), a bottom up emergent categorization works when the group and domain is small (<150 people), strongly bounded and the participants can annotate, edit and refactor the content directly (without a strong editorial process).

Bill Ives

Denham - Thanks for your input. I will be writing up my notes from the meeting this week and I will add your comments. I think we were mostly in agreement with what you wrote, if not completely. Bill

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