Tags, Networks and Narrative Investigating the Use of Social Software for the Study of Narrative Digital Contexts Bruce Mason & Sue Thomas, De Montfort University Presented at De Montfort University 18 September 2007
Unlike knowledge repositories, which follow a people-to-documents model, knowledge networks are inherently people-to-people. Bush.A.A. & Tiwana.A., ‘Designing Sticky Knowledge Networks’ Communications of the ACM, May 2005/Vol.48, No.5. p.70
Transliteracy: the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks. http://www.transliteracy.com
“ Folksonomy is the result of personal free tagging of information and objects (anything with a URL) for one's own retrival. The tagging is done in a social environment (usually shared and open to others). Folksonomy is created from the act of tagging by the person consuming the information.” ( Vanderwal.net )
I picked tags that would be useful for the research I saw myself doing in the future. I did not consider others because my tags are about my research, not theirs. If they would like to use my resource that is fine, but it is primarily for my own use.
In the experiment tasks, my primary concern was to choose tags useful to everybody - now my emphasis is on usefulness for my own purposes.
Before this experiment it was a line between for me and for others, a mid point. Now it is all for other people, an entry into multiple points of entry instead of a cloud in one nexus point. Interesting. I try to think more of the different areas of interest and context that people may come to it with, more like when I publish an essay on several areas applicable to several fields. I didn't really do that before.
Tagging that is useful for the individual or a particular community will not be useful for the mass and vice versa. Some people in our group tagged for the mass and so we ended up agreeing on such tags as 'narrative' and 'story' which actually say nothing about a site. As far as I can see, there is no reason why tagging should be as restrictive as I found it to be. Even by breaking the rules I felt unable to tag in the way I wanted to.
I enjoyed more the taggings that are accompanied by a note. Otherwise, I feel that the tag itself doesn’t give me enough information to become interested in their web sites. Also the tags can be very personal, which is great. For example someone has a tag called “Calvino”, but the web site is not about Italo Calvino. The web site makes her think of Calvino, it shows the mental links she has made, which I consider great, and it is an interpretation of the web site. I think this is one of the values of tagging: interpretation and mental links, rather than categorisation because of the sake of categorisation, does it make sense?. Also, I liked when people tag with composed words such as “truestories”, “creationmyth”, because there is a bit more of information to become interested. Also I like to find a short collection of tags. I feel lost when there are too many.
… described the sites as a highly subjective critique; as if marking an essay or reporting on the sites in order to share his responses with other reader(s). I would have preferred an objective - and brief- description of the sites. I didn’t feel that comments like 'boring and geeky to me', ' fun to browse', ' cool idea', ' probably too arty for my taste' were particularly useful as I don’t know this person and have nor idea of what his tastes are anyway.
I prefer my own style of tagging. Sometimes I think I am not a proper tagger as I still have this obsession to keep the amount of tags at bay. Rather than approaching it spontaneous and letting the database do the rest, I want to somehow keep it under control. The result is a rather reduced amount of tags. The effect though is that the tag cloud stays rather concise which I find helpful.
Taggers split though most liked the “user-generated” nature of tagging. E.g.
I don't think I like the idea of "best practice" as it takes away from the user generated nature of the enterprise. I do think having some examples of what people have found works would be good so maybe just not setting it up as "best practice" would suffice for me.