Thursday, July 05, 2007

Things 13 & 14: Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati

Week 6: Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati

13. Learn about tagging and discover a (a social bookmaking site)
14. Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts.

Ok, I'm sold. At first I had a little difficulty trusting the whole "folksonomy" idea, but now that I've seen it work for me, I'm digging it. I am kind of a geek; I like to read and write fanfiction. Fanfiction is what fans of various TV series/movies/books, etc., write when they run out of media to view or read. There's a lot out there. Some of it is quite good. A lot of is is...not so good. Some of the stories that I have read are great, but they just don't appeal to me, because the authors have the characters doing things that are OOC (out-of-character), or just plain silly...or maybe even a little icky (Some authors like to turn characters into zombies, or werewolves, and that just ain't my bag, man.

Blogging and RSS REALLY enables my fanfiction habit. I can use a feed reader to let me know when my favorite authors have come up with something new, or an update to a story that is written in PARTS. Tagging makes it all even COOLER, because I can now also search the blog world (and other websites) for the kinds of stories I like. Also, I can gather links to the stories I want to re-read in Technorati OR I can tag my links to these stories using my own terminology so that I can find them again. Other people can see my tags, and use them as well. I can find people out there who liked particular stories that I enjoyed, and find out what else they have read, because sometimes, birds of a feather read together!

One issue bothers me, though. Not everyone tags as efficiently as everyone else. One person might lump all her favorite stories under "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "fanfic" and "AU." I might use, for the same story: "STNG" and "fan fiction" and "alternate universe." If we don't use the same terms, it's likely that we might not find one another's links. Now, the logical solution would be for the software to cross-reference those similar terms, like LC subject headings. I'm not seeing that, so far - but I've only had a few days' experience with Technorati and, so maybe I just don't see it yet. So far, even within my own links, I must watch carefully that I use the same exact tags. Within my own account, this is fairly easy. I did have two sets of links at one point, though, because I thought I needed to place a comma after each term to separate it from the others. I ended up with one tag with a comma attached to the word, and another without.

And then there is the whole issue of the multi-word tag. This has bothered me for a while. If I want to tag with a concept, such as "Rhea's Birthday," it seems to be a problem. In, I end up with two funny tags with codes attached, and they are not linked to one another. If I leave out the quotation marks, I still will have two separate tags: one will be "Rhea's," and the other will be "Birthday." Technically, I can see that this will be okay, since, as long as I use both words, the links will be found. But - the "tag cloud" no longer seems to make sense when I do that. Who cares if I have this tag cloud with the words "birthday" and "Rhea" jumbled within?

I suppose I just need more time to get it.

I'm also not so certain about Technorati's authority feature. It tries to rate the authority of a blog based on how many others have linked to its pages. There are posts out there with an authority of 23,000! Well, my most popular blog has an authority of...6.

Note: So far, I have never attended a Star Trek convention - I swear! Please take me off the nerd list!


HCPL Techincal Trainer said...

Ok, I need to catch up with you and the quality of your posts on each of the things. Great job Nette.

HCPL Techincal Trainer said...

I am also sad that I am not on your links....:'-)

Dances With Keyboards said...

Hey, I'm totally impressed and surprised that you're actually able to watch so many things.

Don't be sad; I haven't really got a very large collection of links yet.