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Tagwork is pretty cool. :) I'm enjoying reading all about tags and folksonomy even if I don't understand half of the terminology. It fries my brain. :)

I'd appreciate your feedback on something I've been thinking about if you have time.

Related Folksonomy. Usability and Navigation.

The link is in my name URL.


Craig, much appreciated that you like the Tagwork (and the programmer says appreciated! too)!

As I suggested over at your site - make a hands-on experiement!
Nothing beats it in testing out theories - and nothing beats it when trying to show others "what you really mean"! Words-only is not easy to get one's head around as you have noticed :D

Muness Alrubaie

Why limit tags at all? Why not treat anything as a tag, and a tag as anything?

I started down that road in the way I implemented tags for trac (http://dev.muness.textdriven.com/trac.cgi/wiki/tags) . This was just a prototype (the folk part of folksonomy is missing) but it turned out to be extremely powerful.

Basically, I superimposed the tag namespace and the wiki namespace (i.e. the tag Java is equivelant to the wiki Java). By that simple act, a tag can be a description, a grouping, a place or pretty much anything else you want it to be.



I agree completely of course! No limits, but also no rules, standards, filtering or even precision (as you can glean from the recent postings herein :)

It's the moment you apply logic to the tags that makes the namespace that the system falls apart: Then the "finder" will have to assimilate somebody else's logic, and we know how "efficient" that is! Not to say all the resources spent on manuals, training and I would suggest - a good part of education :)

The beauty about the approach in my mind is that no tag will ruin for the namespace. I can find "Mary Poppins" by "Umbrella", "Children" and "Film". Others can find it by other tags that would be completely irrelevant for me, and what do I care :)
Actually, there is a bonus in that I'll probably learn something about the film that I did not know from those "irrelevant" tags!

Interesting expriment you have there BTW, more of that!

Muness Alrubaie


In your reply you say: "It's the moment you apply logic to the tags that makes the namespace that the system falls apart: Then the "finder" will have to assimilate somebody else's logic".

Can you elaborate? What logic are you referring to? And how does the finder fall apart?

As for the experiment, thanks. It worked better than I imagined for organizing course content and it seems like there are at least a few active users out there. :)



it would be parallel to how things works in tree-structures, although there any error will lead you astray, go left instead of right and you're lost.. Like in the navigation on a website, now I have to try to understand how it's structured, under what link I should look when I'm trying to find whatever. I in fact have to assimilate the logic of the "organiser".

OK, now we are getting used to websites and most designers seems to follow more or less the same principles, but ask your old uncle who never browses to find something there! Not a chance. Intuitive? Bah, humbug. It's called "well trained" :)

In the "Mary Poppins" example - if somebody applied his logic to the tags, and that was it, no more tags allowed by others - then for whatever reasons his tags were "Bread", "Dog", "Sun" - whatever that could be perfectly reasonable for him and exactly what comes to his mind when somebody says "Mary Poppins".
I would be lost. Unless he gave me a "manual" or trained me beforehand!

He, I loose sight of files every now and then, cannot remember what folder I put that darned Word document last month... cannot even assimilate or remember my own logic used when filing it to "/users/sig/documents/correspondence/family/tax/" only a few weeks ago! :)

Logic applied when organising is less than perfect to say the least... and it comes in many guises - filter, standards... I think we'd better off trying something completely different ;)

Muness Alrubaie

Now I am beginning to understand. And to better understand your experiment too.

The same sort of thing is what led me to decide to collapse the tag namespace with the wiki namespace in Trac. I wanted to use tagging as a means for organizing course material -- in lieu of a strictly hierarchical or linear model as is usually the case for courses, books, and teaching in general.

But I quickly realized that it wouldn't do; the students - or a passerby - would be lost unless I gave them a "manual" or trained them somehow as you pointed out. So I decided wiki = tag. This was the manual. And by living in it (finding notes, assignments, calendar, supplementary materials etc...) a student would be implicitly trained in the logic used to initially organize the wiki.

However, this alludes to the point I made earlier about my experiment largely leaving out the folk from folksonomy. What I'd like to do is provide the ability for not a single set of tags per wiki entry, but a set per user. I expect that kind of environment would not only provide a better mechanism (they can supplement the existing tags with ones that make sense to them), but it'd also provide an infrastructure for the environment (the wiki and other users) to be trained by the way users, in general, use tags.

But the context of a wiki seems a bit too constrained, and I was drifting away from it anyway. In many ways thingamy:tagsite tackles some of these issues.

What I find hard to do with it is that you still separate tags and objects. e.g. I just added Louvre, and tagged the Mona Lisa object with it. Because I've been using tags on Trac for so long, the first thing I started to do was to then add a little note on the Louvre itself and tag it with Paris, art museum, and so on.

Could this be the something different that's worth try? Or is it not different enough? Even if it isn't, I think it's worth exploring.



you're pointing to something important there: Making the tags more valuable in themselves - thus making the namespace more valuable and a better bearer of knowledge (which after all can be seen as relationships between objects :)

Tagging tags with other tags is already available in the experiment, but not open, can only be done in the admin interface just now..

Add that we in next version will add more info into each tag - who, why etc...

Think the stuff will be more interesting then :)

Muness Alrubaie

Cool; looking forward to it!

I still am not sure why tag != object, but I think TagSite has a lot going for it (you, Hugh) and am looking forward to see where it goes/you take it.

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