Scribbles from a session led by David Weinberger and Esther Dyson at PC Forum, also posted to the wiki.
Lots of productive friction here.
David Sifry, Caterina Fake and Ross Mayfield helped with an intro to tagging. (can't remember what I said, please edit in)
Rael Dornfest: reminds me of RDF, but the cooling is its not in format or intent
David Weinberger: Take that semantic web! We will do it ourselves with tags!
Barney Pell: tags vs. models or inference rules.
Caterina Fake: designed as a way to organize your own photos, purely selfish reasons.
Brian Dear: experimenting with letting people tag events and venues (geographical tagging). People affiliated with events, helps the search process. Huge world of synonyms. Tagged reputation.
Johannes Ernst: context is the thing to disambiguate
Myles Weissleder: uses tags to track what people are saying about Meetup in real-time.
Some guy: accidental architecture, information in notes fields that some people complained about but system designers found them useful. XML solved the accidental architecture. Tags are at a similar point today.
Rael Dornfest: Whenever I hear about something will not scale, reminds me of other things people said it would never scale. Like RSS. Would never know before it starts to scale how it needs to scale. My big fear is that Oracle will add tagging, and that will be the end of it.
Steve P: lots of historical examples, post-coordinate indexing allows you to assign tags and build up a representation of the world as it exists. Early days of eBay had not categorization, but there were natural forces at work that got their people to control their vocabulary.
Esther Dyson: Heirarchy is really good, turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down, but it doesn't result in one turtle.
David Weinberger: Is your point Steve, that the effect is to dumb down taxonomies to a lowest common denomenator.
Marc Canter: Groups as a way to parse through tags
[Steve Proper nouns are high value terms, the rest of the vocabulary has multiple facets
JP Rangaswami (CIO of DrKW): using socialtext in my bank. The guys who did semantic web in my bank said they would never call it a project. Two dimensions that work: people tag things for themselves, what every I am doing, can I do it in a way that makes collaboration easier. All it is doing is making things easier. The thing that got me on tagging was when I went to Ross and he said it was the simplicity. I will do things to try to remember, I dont want to be committed into a structure.
David Weinberger: Thing that worries me when someone creates a second field, which creates a third,etc. and you end up with Microsoft forms.
Eric at the back of the room: disambiguating interfaces
Guy with a hat in the back of the room: what is the point of loss of control, like email and spam. If we know what is going to break it, we will understand ways to fix it.
David Sifry: Correlations naturally form. When someone blogs something, it has a date. Author. EXIF data. Whitelabel.org
Lights went out and David Weinberger says: anybody see that or is it just me?
David Weinberger: signature phrases for books that can be used as tags by amazon
Middle of room: Glendale issue is a real one, but have fears of raising barriers. Meta meta data?
Barney Pell: possible to do an overlay to make these things useful. Finding pictures could be aided by models to help navigate tags.
David Weinberger: sounds liek a lot of people are going to do this in a lot of different ways and most of them will not work but some might. Power law longtail of tags which is what a folksonomy.
Adam Bosworth: People will disambiguate with multiple tags and then autosuggest will kick in. Dont have to have tags upon tags. Its just going to work itself out.
Technorati: 494,187 tags, 5 M posts.
Phil in the middle: wetware being applied to the consumption of these tags, wonder how many tags people search for at once.
David Weinberger: Tagging is the inverse of searching, trying to guess the word that someone looking for your stuff is using. Implies its social. More excited that many people tag as a social activity.
Caterina Fake: Default is letting your friends tag. Participative tagging takes care of issues like clustering through a collaborative process.
Esther: Having someone tag your stuff is a rewarding experience. Its like being groomed by a monkey. Half of the photos tagged monkey are actually
Marc Canter: most exciting thing is what you can develop on top of tags
Caterina Fake]: http://wists.com
JP Rangaswami: Was going to use tags to solve a problem in my organization. people label things differently in different cultures in the same organization. Today english might be the language, but there are perhaps 300 dialects and the labels are different. Tagging lets structure to cross-reference, where patterns emerge. Important for me in a commercial context. To let people in diff keeping it simpel and the adoption rate high. Not pushing or pulling, its a community, which is why I like social software.
David Weinberger: Which also an indication that tagging is not a either/or proposition
Guy in the front of the room: Reduces the cost of technology, but what about how it scales down, not up? Can it have value in small organizations.
Other guy: Its has value in the ones.