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April 15, 2005
Infoworld goes tagalicious
Matt McAlister explains that the Infoworld.com upgrade isn’t merely cosmetic: On the articles pages they’ve moved from a fixed taxonomy that took them a lot of time to develop to a semi-structured tagging system:
What I like most in this new architecture is that the related links are now driven by del.icio.us. Our edit team is tagging content in del.icio.us. The engineers are pulling down the del.icio.us RSS feeds. And then we create matching logic based on the common tags. We also link back out to del.icio.us pages via the tags for the article on display.
This is a first step with several more ideas for leveraging tags coming soon. We need a more densely tagged data set behind us before some of the other plans can become real. The accuracy of the related links will also be a little shady, I’m sure, until we get more sophisticated with our tagging. But we’re all excited about the possibilities for the site now that we have these tags. New ideas seem to crop up daily.
Fascinating. Matt also talks about the intersection of tagging and marketing.
So, see Ephraim Schwarz’s article on Oracle and Sybase offering RFID integration. To the right is a “See Also” box that lists the article’s tags: Ephraim_Schwartz Oracle_RFID Sybase_RFID. (You can also click on “Complete List of Tags,” which takes you to Infoworld’s del.icio.us page.) The Oracle_RFID link takes you to the del.icio.us list of pages Infoworld has tagged as “oracle_RFID.” It being de.licio.us, that page also shows all the articles every other del.icio.us user has tagged that way. (The fact that zero non-Infoworlders have used that tag to me means that it’s a tad overly specific. Why not tag the article “oracle” and “rfid” instead?)
I’m not sure what it means that Infoworld is applying matching logic to del.icio.us feeds. Does that mean they’re looking at tags from non-Infoworlders?
In any case, this is exciting because a high-traffic site that lives and dies by content is trusting the looser bonds of tagging to help us explore what’s related. And if Infoworld is using del.icio.us to include related links outside of their site — even if they don’t, because Infoworld is using del.icio.us we can do that for ourselves — then we have a great example of the social power of links: They owners of the information no longer are the sole proprietors of the organization of that information.
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