Excellent. Web 2.0 has good wifi. Pleased to see the wifi’s good since the AttentionTrust will be presenting in the same room I’m in later this afternoon.
Attending the ‘What’s in a Tag’ session. Joshua Schachter, Caterina Fake, Tony Stubblebine, and Jeff Veen in attendence. Primarily a Q & A session.
Jeff Veen: “happy to see standards emerging from the bottom up rather than the top down”
Tony Stubblebine (of O’Reilly): “one of the first big customers for Josh’s del.icio.us data”. (Okay, elusive del.icio.us business model?) Josh is giving them the del.icio.us data for all of O’Reilly’s pages.
Josh Schachter: “who’s using tags?” About two-thirds of the room raises their hands.
Caterina Fake: “all you need is one obsessive-compulsive in your social circle, and all your photos are tags.”
Jeff Jarvis wants a tutorial in the art of tagging. General sense of commentary – people in our audience are having trouble getting tags. Caterina suggests we’re overthinking it. Jeff Veen – true value of the websites that offer tags is the service offered on top of that.
Josh touches on the way different tags are used – tagging for others vs. tagging for self vs. a combination of the two. Technorati as tagging for others, del.icio.us as tagging for the self.
Josh: “we get a couple of e-mails a day asking for a wiki so people can agree on the common tags to use.”
Tantek Çelik arrives. So far most interesting thing for me is observing people I’ve read & follow but never met – Josh, Caterina, and now Tantek.
Caterina shows off tag clusters. Refers to interesting post on tagging on Tom Coates’ blog. (But there’s a ton of interesting posts on Tom’s blog so how to narrow it down.) Caterina mentions a research lab on tagging at Yahoo, which is cooperating with a lab at UC Berkeley on auto-tagging. Startup Ojos (which has very cool facial recognition software) is mentioned.
The tag spam / gaming question arises. Josh quickly makes the distinction between Technorati tags and del.icio.us tags, how del.icio.us is tagging other peoples’ stuff while Technorati is tagging your own stuff. I wonder how Josh really feels about Technorati tags… Caterina mentions the role of a social network in filtering. What Yahoo’s MyWeb is up to next?
Distracted somewhat because I’m thinking of the role of Ojos in auto-tagging. Could Ojos recognize the face of the Statue of Liberty, say, and auto-tag it accordingly? Could they recognize places as well as faces?
Tantek asked why Technorati tags won’t suffer the fate of the meta keywords. Answer: Meta keywords are invisible, out of sync with what’s on the page, no social pressure to ensure the keywords are correct. These factors, and not just the fact that meta keywords were abused, caused downfall. Google’s derivation of keywords within the ‘a href’ tags was a qualitative step-up since those keywords are clearly visible. Well, same with tags. Not entirely sure I buy this, since I don’t know many spammers who care about social pressure.
Tony: “when people tag their own content, that’s what they wish their content is about. More interested in del.icio.us – what others actually think their content is about.”
Jeff Veen: “websites aren’t providing architecture, they’re providing services on top of which architecture can emerge.” Uses XHTML Friends Network as an example. RubHub – XFN Relationship Lookup Engine – is up on the screen.
Caterina discusses Flickr’s ‘interestingness’ algorithm. Mentions that they’re working on an ‘interesting-to-you’ algorithm. Mentions that if you want to scrub your website of adult photos, looking at the ‘interesting-to-you’ of someone that’s interested in adult photos is a good way to go. Hmmm, implications of that are interesting in themselves. Are visits from certain Flickr users the kiss of death for your photo set? My random thoughts: if you could do an ‘interesting-to-you’ algorithm for the entire web you could catch criminal activity (kiddie porn) by just id-ing and following users who find that sort of thing interesting…
Josh mentions that a company wanted a version of del.icio.us inside their firewall since their intranet was so disorganized. The alpha salespeople could bookmark / tag the truly useful stuff and then the rest could follow their lead.
Consumating.com is up as an example of the value of self-tagging. Jeff Veen draws attention to incredibly rich self-descriptions through tags. Suggests the huge potential for advertising.
Caterina – working on relevance, problem when people overtag. Ability to say ‘this tag is not relevant’ or ‘this user is not relevant’. Example – a guy in Vancouver who tags everything (including mundane pictures of non-significant locations) with ‘Vancouver’.
Question: does anyone look at the popularity over time, any use of tags over time? Caterina showing Flickr’s ‘Hot Tags’ page. Can see world events reflected in the tags.
(Why is Technorati saying this blog post was first published five hours ago? What am I, psychic?)